With the release of the 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) Management Guidelines for Adults with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, treatment decisions for low-risk thyroid cancer became more complicated. Although the guidelines were meant to supplement shared patient-healthcare provider decision-making, the patient-provider deliberation often fails to meet the informational standards for patients and can often exclude available treatments. Low-risk thyroid cancer patients often don’t know what questions to ask, while the physicians report not knowing how to obtain patients’ preferences and include them into treatment decisions.
Dr. Margaret “Gretchen” Schwarze and Anne Buffington from the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR) recently published Question Coding Schema: A Toolkit to Count and Categorize Questions During Surgical Consultation. The toolkit is a measurement tool for characterizing the number and types of questions patients and family members ask during surgical consultations. It enables researchers to count and describe the categories of questions that patients and family members ask while meeting with their surgeon. View the toolkit on HIPxChange here.
The Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR) recently released a new tool on HIPxChange, the Shared Decision Making Repository, to enable researchers and clinicians to easily locate and sort through a large collection of current literature on shared decision making instruments and avoid performing redundant literature searches. The tool compiles and catalogs over 70 qualitative and quantitative instruments that measure shared decision making, and can be easily sorted, filtered, or searched based on keywords, measure type, and who the instrument measures. You can view the tool for free here.
Gretchen Schwarze awarded $2.1 million from PCORI to help older Americans make better decisions about high-risk surgery
Dr. Gretchen Schwarze and co-investigators were recently awarded $2.1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study how to improve how older adults make decisions about high-risk surgical treatments. Congratulations, Dr. Schwarze!
In a recent article in The New York Times, Dr. Gretchen Schwarze discusses the controversy surrounding the use of 30-day mortality as a surgical success measure. Focusing on reducing 30-day mortality, which is frequently used in the public reporting of quality and, more recently, to determine Medicare penalties, can result in diminished quality of life for patients after surgery and result in surgeons declining to operate on high-risk patients.
Dr. Gretchen Schwarze recently received an R03 award from the National Institute on Aging to conduct a feasibilty study of a communication tool to help older adults facing difficult surgical decisions make choices that align with their personal preferences. In the project, Dr. Schwarze and colleagues will train surgeons on the use of the tool, assess patient acceptance of the tool, and lay the groundwork for a larger-scale efficacy trial.
Dr. Sharon Weber recently received an AHRQ Mentored Career Enhancement Award in Patient Centered Outcomes Research for Mid-Career and Senior Investigators for her project, "Incorporating the patient perspective to reduce readmission after complex surgery," which will aim to understand the causes of readmission from the patient's perspective and create a tool that will help decrease readmissions and associated health care costs.
Dr. Nancy Pandhi and Dr. Gretchen Schwarze have been selected to receive New Investigator awards from the Wisconsin Partnership Program for their projects, "Aligning Preferences in Older Adults with Decision for High Risk Surgery" and "The Effectiveness of an Integrated Mental Health and Primary Care Model for Wisconsin Patients with Severe Mental Illness," respectively.
Dr. Caprice Greenberg was named a "woman to watch" in the January 2014 issue of Brava magazine for her work on coaching in the operating room to improve surgical quality.
Four other UW Health physicians were also named for their work to improve surgical and oncological care. Read the full article here.