Thyroidectomy Audit: Effects of Specialised, High Volume Work on Key Performance Indicators
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We conducted this audit to assess and improve the quality of care for patients undergoing thyroid surgery at our institution. The audit process began in 2012. Key performance indicators assessed were rates of hypocalcemia (immediate postoperative, temporary and permanent), recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury, chyle leak rate, re-exploration for chyle leak and post-thyroidectomy haemorrhage. Data of patients undergoing thyroidectomy from 1st January to 31st December 2011 was retrospectively collected from the electronic database. Performance indicators were assessed and compared to international standards. Actions to correct the short falls were implemented and retrospective re-audits were performed on prospectively collected data in subsequent years until 2015. The data was analysed using STATA IC/13.1. There has been a steady increase in the number of thyroidectomies performed/year from 357 in 2011 to 577 in 2015. The most common procedure performed was total thyroidectomy (~70%) and histopathology revealed thyroid malignancy in the majority of patients. Over 5 years, a significant improvement in the rates of post-thyroidectomy immediate and temporary hypocalcemia was witnessed (p < 0.001) as well as a near significant fall in permanent hypocalcemia and RLN injury rate (p = 0.06). In 2014 and 2015, no patients were re-explored for a chyle leak. The rate of post-thyroidectomy haemorrhage (1.2–1.8%) has remained static over 5 years. This audit portrays specialisation in endocrine surgery and high volumes of patients treated have resulted in a significant improvement in outcomes for patients following thyroid surgery that meet international standards.
KeywordsAudit Thyroidectomy complications Hypocalcemia Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury Chyle leak
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of Informed Consent
For this type of study, formal consent is not required.
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