Medical Team Training Program Cuts Surgical Morbidity Rate

Significantly steeper decline in the annual surgical morbidity rate for facilities in MTT program

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The Veterans Health Administration Medical Team Training (MTT) program is associated with a significant decrease in the annual surgical morbidity rate, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Yinong Young-Xu, Sc.D., from the Department for Veterans Affairs in White River Junction, Vt., and colleagues examined whether the MTT program was associated with surgical morbidity. The analysis included 119,383 sampled procedures from Veterans Health Administration facilities, including 42 facilities in the MTT program and 32 facilities which did not receive training. The rate of change in annual surgical morbidity rate one year after facilities enrolled in the MTT program was compared with the rate one year before and with the rate in non-MTT sites.

The investigators found that there was a significant decrease in the observed annual surgical morbidity rate in facilities in the MTT program, compared with an insignificant decrease in the facilities that were not trained (17 percent [P = 0.01] and 6 percent [P = 0.11], respectively). There was a 15 and 10 percent decrease in the morbidity rate for facilities in the MTT and those not in the program, respectively, after adjusting for surgical risk. After propensity score matching, both groups showed a decline in the risk-adjusted annual surgical morbidity rate, but the decline was 20 percent steeper in the MTT group. For specific morbidity outcomes, such as surgical infection, the decline in annual surgical morbidity rates was also steeper for the MTT group.

"The Veterans Health Administration MTT program is associated with decreased surgical morbidity," the authors write.

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