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Comparative performance reports in anaesthesia: impact on clinical outcomes and acceptability to clinicians
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    Building on feedback to maximise quality improvement

    Optimising the quality of recovery following anaesthesia, with a focus on both physiological and emotional wellbeing, is an important goal for anaesthesia quality improvement.(1) I was interested to read the paper by Collyer and colleagues(2) which reports an reduction in the incidence of nausea, hypothermia, significant pain and unplanned admission from the relatively simple intervention of audit followed by individual performance feedback which included a comparison to the departmental averages. It is commendable that they have chosen issues in anaesthesia recovery aligned with NICE quality standards and indicators,(3) and which are both important and common, so that even a small change in outcome will have a significant impact on healthcare.
    A continuous observational study of outcome provides the best information to highlight opportunities for improvement, although data collection can be onerous. The improvements reported have the potential to reduce indirect costs of hospitalisation and variation in practice standards. This study includes metrics which are of interest to both patients and providers. No doubt this contributed to the high level of acceptance and engagement reported in the survey of participants. The inclusion of a wide variety of patients both in- and out of hours and the use of a custom data recording instrument is likely to have increased the validity of the findings.
    However, there are a number of issues with the reliability of the...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.