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Editorial published in Heart discussing the benefits and risks of monitoring mortality

10 October 2013

We have written an editorial on the importance of monitoring mortality following heart surgery in children, but also on the limitations on making inferences based on the comparison of risk-adjusted outcomes between hospitals. The editorial has been published this week as an open access article in the journal Heart.

We believe that monitoring programme level outcomes within hospitals has an important part to play in local service improvement. It is also true that reporting national outcomes is important and that comparisons between hospitals do have a role to play in quality assurance and quality improvement. However, interpreting comparative results is not straight forward and we discuss in this editorial things to keep in mind when doing so.

While we have written the editorial with a focus on heart surgery outcomes in children, the basic messages are relevant to any national or local monitoring of risk-adjusted outcomes.

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