Send to

Choose Destination
Anesthesiology. 2003 Aug;99(2):480-7.

Use of discharge abstract databases to differentiate among pediatric hospitals based on operative procedures: surgery in infants and young children in the state of Iowa.

Author information

Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.



A pediatric hospital may aim to show governmental agencies, charitable organizations, and philanthropic individuals how its clinical services differ from those of nonpediatric surgical facilities and of other pediatric hospitals. Yet, it is unknown how to use existing databases to quantify where infants and young children undergo surgery, and to use that information to differentiate among facilities.


Discharge abstracts were used to study inpatient and outpatient operative procedures performed between January and June 2001 in children 0-2 yr old at hospitals or hospital-affiliated outpatient surgery centers in Iowa.


Of the 93 facilities performing at least one procedure, the 90 performing 15 or fewer different types of procedures provided surgical care for 80% of procedures. Among procedures performed at these 90 facilities, less than 0.15% were physiologically complex (more than seven American Society of Anesthesiologists' basic units). In contrast, at the larger and smaller pediatric hospitals, the percentages were 26% and 7%, respectively. These pediatric hospitals performed 181 and 73 different types of procedures, respectively; 64% of the physiologically complex procedures performed statewide were performed at the larger pediatric hospital. The smaller pediatric hospital was no more similar to the larger pediatric hospital in its relative volumes of each type of procedure than it was to the other 91 facilities.


Statewide discharge abstract data can be used by a hospital to quantify how its surgical practice differs from that of other hospitals (e.g., to show that it provides a more diverse, comprehensive, and physiologically complex selection of procedures in younger patients).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center