Report: Use evidence-based research for better, safer surgery

Applying an evidence-based framework for surgical innovation can improve patient outcomes, according to a new report published in the BMJ.

Evidence-based medicine research is lacking in surgery, but Weill Cornell Medical College researchers found they can use available data to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of various surgical techniques, according to the report.

"Currently, there is no dynamic research framework to systematically detect devices and surgeries that don't offer any benefits to patients or may even be harmful," co-lead investigator Art Sedrakyan of Weill Cornell said in a research announcement. "We have to recognize that not every surgical procedure that is offered is as safe and effective as we thought and so these techniques need to be evaluated."

Sedrakyan worked with U.K. researchers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discover how to improve evidence-based surgery research to drive surgical quality and innovation.

They applied the IDEAL framework, which describes the stages of evaluating surgical innovations (idea, development, exploration, assessment and long term study) and calls for using clinical trials, observational databases and registries to make surgical procedures safer and more effective.

As the first formal framework for surgical innovation, IDEAL principles could significantly overhaul how surgical procedures receive approval, according to Medscape Medical News.

"It would align evidentiary standards for medical treatments (drugs) and surgical treatments/devices and result in safer patient care," Philipp Dahm, M.D., professor of urology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, told Medscape.

To learn more:
- here's the Medscape article
- read the report and announcement