PURPOSE - Standardized care via a unified surgeon preference card for pediatric appendectomy can result in significant cost reduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of cost and outcome feedback to surgeons on value of care in an environment reluctant to adopt a standardized surgeon preference card.
METHODS - Prospective observational study comparing operating room (OR) supply costs and patient outcomes for appendectomy in children with 6-month observation periods both before and after intervention. The intervention was real-time feedback of OR supply cost data to individual surgeons via automated dashboards and monthly reports.
RESULTS - Two hundred sixteen children underwent laparoscopic appendectomy for non-perforated appendicitis (110 pre-intervention and 106 post-intervention). Median supply cost significantly decreased after intervention: $884 (IQR $705-$1025) to $388 (IQR $182-$776), p<0.001. No significant change was detected in median OR duration (47min [IQR 36-63] to 50min [IQR 38-64], p=0.520) or adverse events (1 [0.9%] to 6 [4.7%], p=0.062). OR supply costs for individual surgeons significantly decreased during the intervention period for 6 of 8 surgeons (87.5%).
CONCLUSION - Approaching value measurement with a surgeon-specific (rather than group-wide) approach can reduce OR supply costs while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Level II.
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