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Am Heart J. 1997 Jul;134(1):55-61.

Public release of cardiac surgery outcomes data in New York: what do New York state cardiologists think of it?

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Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, USA.



Since 1990, risk-adjusted outcomes for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery in New York state have been released to the public. The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which referring cardiologists share these data with patients and use these data to make referrals.


A survey questionnaire was sent to all cardiologists in New York in the New York State Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.


Four hundred fifty cardiologists responded to the survey. Most (94%) found the report "easy to read." A majority (67%) found the report to be "very accurate" or "somewhat accurate" in capturing differences in the performance of cardiac surgeons, whereas 33% found it to be "not at all accurate." Twenty-two percent reported that they "routinely discuss the reports with their patients," and 38% responded that the information has affected their referrals to surgeons "very much" or "somewhat."


A majority of cardiologists has not generally changed their well-established referral patterns as a result of the New York coronary artery bypass graft surgery reports. However, there has been a modest impact on referrals resulting from the distribution of these reports. The findings also suggest that increased dialogue between clinicians and policy makers regarding the format and structure of public releases would be a valuable undertaking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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