The implementation of a surgeon-directed quality improvement strategy in breast cancer surgery
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BACKGROUND: The investigators designed a sustained, surgeon-directed, iterative project to improve the quality of breast cancer surgery in south central Ontario. METHODS: The strategy included audit and feedback of surgeon-selected quality indicators, workshops, and tailoring interviews. Workshops were held to discuss quality improvement strategies, select quality indicators, review audited results, and select interventions for subsequent implementation. Semistructured tailoring interviews were conducted to identify facilitators and barriers to improved quality. All presentations and results were disseminated to all surgeons performing breast surgery in the study region. RESULTS: Forty-four surgeons performing breast surgery across 12 hospitals are involved in the project. Five workshops have been held since 2005. Surgeons' enthusiasm and involvement in the project have been positive. Interim results demonstrated that over 4 audit cycles (2006-2010), the preoperative core biopsy rate increased from 73% to 92%. The tailoring interviews indicated that 18 of 21 surgeons performed preoperative core biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: This project highlights the feasibility of a surgeon-directed, iterative quality improvement strategy in breast cancer surgery. Interim results demonstrate consistent improvements in a key selected quality indicator.
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