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Lung Resection Outcomes and Costs in Washington State: A Case for Regional Quality Improvement
To illustrate the potential need for regional quality improvement efforts in thoracic surgery, the authors conducted a study of lung resection in Washington state using a discharge database including nearly 8,500 pts over a 12-year period. Inpatient mortality decreased over time but there was no change in the incidence of prolonged length of stay. Costs increased over time. Hospitals were widely distributed into categories including fewer deaths/lower costs, fewer deaths/higher costs, more deaths/lower costs, and more deaths/higher costs. The data illustrate ample opportunity for improving quality and value modeled on hospitals with fewer deaths/lower costs.