Hospital volume following major surgery for gastric cancer determines in-hospital mortality rate and failure to rescue: a nation-wide study based on German billing data (2009–2017)

Abstract

Background

For many cancer resections, a hospital volume-outcome relationship exists. The data regarding gastric cancer resection—especially in the western hemisphere—are ambiguous. This study analyzes the impact of gastric cancer surgery caseload per hospital on postoperative mortality and failure to rescue in Germany.

Methods

All patients diagnosed with gastric cancer from 2009 to 2017 who underwent gastric resection were identified from nation-wide administrative data. Hospitals were grouped into five equal caseload quintiles (I–V in ascending caseload order). Postoperative deaths and failure to rescue were determined.

Results

Forty-six thousand one hundred eighty-seven patients were identified. There was a significant shift from partial resections in low-volume hospitals to more extended resections in high-volume centers. The overall in-house mortality rate was 6.2%. The crude in-hospital mortality rate ranged from 7.9% in quintile I to 4.4% in quintile V, with a significant trend between volume categories (p < 0.001). In the multivariable logistic regression analysis, quintile V hospitals (average of 29 interventions/year) had a risk-adjusted odds ratio of 0.50 (95% CI 0.39–0.65), compared to the baseline in-house mortality rate in quintile I (on average 1.5 interventions/year) (p < 0.001). In an analysis only evaluating hospitals with more than 30 resections per year mortality dropped below 4%. The overall postoperative complication rate was comparable between different volume quintiles, but failure to rescue (FtR) decreased significantly with increasing caseload.

Conclusion

Patients who had gastric cancer surgery in hospitals with higher volume had better outcomes and a reduced failure to rescue rates for severe complications.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr. Mohammed Hankir for language editing.

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Correspondence to A. Wiegering.

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Diers, J., Baum, P., Wagner, J.C. et al. Hospital volume following major surgery for gastric cancer determines in-hospital mortality rate and failure to rescue: a nation-wide study based on German billing data (2009–2017). Gastric Cancer (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10120-021-01167-8

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Keywords

  • Gastric cancer
  • Volume outcome
  • Mortality
  • Failure to rescue