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Journal Articles BMC Health Services Research Year : 2020

Influence of trends in hospital volume over time on patient outcomes for high-risk surgery

Cécile Payet
  • Function : Author
Stéphanie Polazzi
  • Function : Author
Jean-Christophe Lifante
  • Function : Author
Eddy Cotte
  • Function : Author
Daniel Grinberg
  • Function : Author
Matthew Carty
  • Function : Author
Stéphane Sanchez
  • Function : Author
Antoine Duclos
  • Function : Author


Abstract Background The “practice makes perfect” concept considers the more frequent a hospital performs a procedure, the better the outcome of the procedure. We aimed to study this concept by investigating whether patient outcomes improve in hospitals with a significantly increased volume of high-risk surgery over time and whether a learning effect existed at the individual hospital level. Methods We included all patients who underwent one of 10 digestive, cardiovascular and orthopaedic procedures between 2010 and 2014 from the French nationwide hospitals database. For each procedure, we identified three groups of hospitals according to volume trend (increased, decreased, or no change). In-hospital mortality, reoperation, and unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days were compared between groups using Cox regressions, taking into account clustering of patients within hospitals and potential confounders. Individual hospital learning effect was investigated by considering the interaction between hospital groups and procedure year. Results Over 5 years, 759,928 patients from 694 hospitals were analysed. Patients’ mortality in hospitals with procedure volume increase or decrease over time did not clearly differ from those in hospitals with unchanged volume across the studied procedures (e.g., Hazard Ratios [95%] of 1.04 [0.93–1.17] and 1.08 [0.97–1.21] respectively for colectomy). Furthermore, patient outcomes did not improve or deteriorate in hospitals with increased or decreased volume of procedures over time (e.g., 1.01 [0.95–1.08] and 0.99 [0.92–1.05] respectively for colectomy). Conclusions Trend in hospital volume over time did not appear to influence patient outcomes based on real-world data. Trial registration NCT02788331 , June 2, 2016.

Dates and versions

hal-04176674 , version 1 (03-08-2023)



Cécile Payet, Stéphanie Polazzi, Jean-Christophe Lifante, Eddy Cotte, Daniel Grinberg, et al.. Influence of trends in hospital volume over time on patient outcomes for high-risk surgery. BMC Health Services Research, 2020, 20 (1), pp.274. ⟨10.1186/s12913-020-05126-4⟩. ⟨hal-04176674⟩


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