Impact of colorectal surgeon case volume on outcomes and applications to quality improvement

  • David Yi
  • John R. T. Monson
  • Cathy C. Stankiewicz
  • Sam Atallah
  • Neil J. Finkler
Original Article



To evaluate the impact of surgeon case volumes on procedural, financial, and clinical outcomes in colorectal surgery and apply findings to improve hospital care quality.


A retrospective review was performed using 2013–2014 administrative data from a large hospital system in Southeast U.S. region; univariate and multivariable regression analyses were used to explore the impact of surgeon case volume on outcomes.


One thousand one hundred ninety patients were included in this 2-year study. When compared with low-volume surgeons (LVS) (< 14 cases in 2 years), the high-volume surgeons (HVS) (> 34 cases) were estimated per case to have shorter cut-to-close time in the operation room by 79 min, ([95% CI 58 to 99]), lower total hospitalization cost by $4314, ([95% CI $2261 to $6367]), and shorter post-surgery and overall length of stay by 0.92 days, ([95% CI 0.50 to 1.35]) and 1.27 days ([95% CI 0.56 to 1.98]), respectively. The HVS also showed a higher tendency to choose a laparoscopic approach over an open approach, with an odds ratio of 3.16 ([95% CI 1.23 to 8.07]). When compared with medium-volume surgeons (MVS) (14–34 cases), the HVS were estimated per case to have shorter cut-to-close time in the operation room by 62 min ([95% CI 37 to 87]). Surgeon case volumes had no statistically significant impact on outcomes including in-hospital mortality, 30-day readmission, blood utilization, and surgical site infection (SSI).


Surgeon case volume had positive impacts on procedural, financial, and clinical outcomes and this finding may be used to improve hospital’s quality of care.


Colorectal surgery Case volume Outcomes Quality improvement 



The authors thank Lawrence Lee, MD, Xiang Zhu, MS, and Penny Carlson, MS, for reviewing and providing critique to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Yi
    • 1
  • John R. T. Monson
    • 2
  • Cathy C. Stankiewicz
    • 1
  • Sam Atallah
    • 2
  • Neil J. Finkler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NursingFlorida HospitalOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Colon & Rectal SurgeryFlorida Hospital Medical GroupOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.Executive OfficeFlorida HospitalOrlandoUSA

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