US News & World Report reports on the “thousands of U.S. medical centers whose patients face a greater risk of death and complications because their surgical teams do too few procedures, even common ones, for doctors, nurses and technicians to maintain their skills.” These large numbers of low-volume hospitals continue to put patients at risk “even after three decades of published research have demonstrated that patients are more likely to die or suffer complications when treated by doctors who only occasionally see similar patients rather than by experienced teams at hospitals with more patients and established protocols.”
Using the US News analysis, Dr. John Birkmeyer determined that as many as 11,000 deaths nationally might have been prevented from 2010 through 2012 if patients who went to the lowest-volume fifth of hospitals examined had instead gone to the highest-volume fifth.
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