Entering cases in SurgicalPerformance requires a small step to join and to start a trial of using it comes at no cost and is obligation-free (not even a credit card is required). However, it is a big step for you or any surgeon to be able to get information about your patients and your clinical profile that you would not be able to get anywhere else. This information is important to maintain and grow your practice and to check how your practice is going (not financially, but) clinically.
However, and especially when you don’t know how we operate, it can be daunting to leave patient information in a software that you are unfamiliar with. “Will hospitals be notified of my cases?” “Will my patients receive messages from SurgicalPerformance?” “Who else other than me will see my outcomes?”
Therefore we would like to take the opportunity to share with you some information as to who can see what information that you enter into SurgicalPerformance.
Before you can enter your first case you need to nominate at least one hospital, which we call a location. This is required because your results will be displayed broken down by your locations (in the plural if you work at more than one location).
To be clear – no hospital will receive any information (identifiable or not) from SurgicalPerformance, ever. Even if you enter the worst outcomes (five complications in a row), your secrets will be buried in SurgicalPerformance and no one would ever know.
Alternatively, as a trial user you can select a “Test Location” if you just wanted to check out SurgicalPerformance if it is the right thing for you. All data entered as Test Location will not even count against the average results from other users. If you enter a case as a “Test Location” those cases will not count towards anything; not even your own cases.
Once you enter real cases and you would like to capture your patients’ perspective on the care that they received (we call that PROMS = Patient-Reported Outcomes), you need to enter your patient’s mobile phone number and her first name. You will need to do so within a week from surgery, as otherwise the request to capture PROMS will have expired.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to get patient feedback and capture PROMS, you can simply turn PROMS off in the data entry form.
Who else will see your SurgicalPerformance data?
No third parties will ever see identifiable SurgicalPerformance data. We have made a lot of effort and taken all steps to ensure that all downloads and data transfers work with non-identifiable information only.
Colleges and professional societies, surgical device companies, etc. will not have a chance to get their hands on your identifiable data. This is because our loyalty is primarily with our surgeon users who wish to learn from their outcomes to become even better at whatr they are doing.
In your reporting section we show how our users compare with other users by doing the same procedure. For comparison of outcomes, we use de-identified, aggregate information that just shows average numbers but will never display identifiable information.
Sometimes we use data for all kinds of research. Again, there is no point using identifiable information for that.
The Australian NHMRC considers medical audit as a non-research activity. While medical research requires consent from patients, medical/surgical audit does not (unless you publish SurgicalPerformance data).
So, you can see that your data is secure and safe with us. We will never communicate your data with hospitals, patients, your colleagues or any other third parties.