Hospital credentialing for laparoscopic cholecystectomy: is stricter better?
OBJECTIVE: Hospital credentialing standards for laparoscopic cholecystectomy were established to improve surgical outcomes, but standards vary by hospital. We hypothesized that more stringent credentialing would result in better outcomes. DESIGN: Univariate and multivariate logistic analyses were performed using a 1996 survey on hospital credentialing practices. Surgical-outcome data were obtained from statewide hospital discharge abstracts and hospital chart reviews. Multivariate logistic analysis was used to calculate the effects of hospital credentialing stringency and nine credentialing practices on operative and postoperative outcomes (including death), controlling for patient and hospital characteristics. SETTING: Short-stay community hospitals performing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. PATIENTS: Statewide hospital discharge data included 1995 inpatient discharges for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Medical-records review included 843 laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients selected from 14 North Carolina hospitals with widely different credentialing practices. RESULTS: Surgical complications from laparoscopic cholecystectomies appeared unrelated to stringency of the hospital credentialing environment. Important factors predicting complications included hospital volume and other hospital characteristics such as the number of registered nurses per patient day. CONCLUSIONS: Given current levels of training, performance, and credentialing standards, tightening of credentialing practices may not improve patient outcomes for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Conover, CJ; Sloan, FA; Provenzale, D; Oddone, E; Jowell, PS; Mah, ML
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