Better Teamwork Linked to Improved Outcomes for CABG

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Better Teamwork Linked to Improved Outcomes for CABG
Better Teamwork Linked to Improved Outcomes for CABG

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), surgical outcomes are better for health systems with physicians who have higher teamwork levels, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

John M. Hollingsworth, M.D., from the Michigan Center for Health Analytics and Medical Prediction in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined whether teamwork among multiple providers who may be dispersed across multiple care locations is a determinant of surgical outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries who underwent CABG between 2008 and 2011. Teamwork was assessed with the bipartite clustering coefficient.

The researchers observed considerable variation in the level of teamwork between health systems performing CABG. Health systems with high and low teamwork levels treated beneficiaries with similar comorbidity scores, but there were differences over several sociocultural and health care capacity factors for these health systems (e.g., physician staff size and surgical caseload). Health systems with higher levels of teamwork had significantly lower 60-day rates of emergency department visit, readmission, and mortality, after controlling for these differences.

"Health systems with physicians who tend to work together in tightly-knit groups during CABG episodes realize better surgical outcomes," the authors write. "As such, delivery system reforms focused on building teamwork may have positive effects on surgical care."

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