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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Assesses Perceptions of Decision Support for Safer Surgery Tool

In a recent study, Dr. Wynne E. Norton, assistant professor in the department of health behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham — in collaboration with Dr. Mary T. Hawn, professor in UAB’s department of surgery — examined providers’ perceptions of the Decision Support for Safer Surgery (DS3) tool, which provided preoperative patient-level risk estimates of postoperative adverse events.

[Photo: Dr. Wynne E. Norton]

The DS3 tool was evaluated at two academic medical centers, and, during the validation study, 23 surgeons provided usefulness ratings of the DS3 tool for each of 1,006 patients before surgery. They rated the tool as “very useful” or “moderately useful” in 251 (25 percent) cases, “neutral” in 469 (46.6 percent) cases, and “moderately un-useful” or “not useful” in 286 (28.4 percent) cases.

At the end of the trial, 32 providers completed a questionnaire, with data analyzed using descriptive statistics and independent samples t tests. Perceptions were relatively neutral, although several aspects were rated quite favorably, leading the researchers to conclude that the DS3 tool may be most useful for achieving particular tasks (e.g., training novice surgeons, increasing patient engagement) or encouraging specific processes (e.g., team-based care) in surgical care settings.

“Acceptability of the Decision Support for Safer Surgery Tool” was published online in October 2014 in The American Journal of Surgery.

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