Introduction Advances in surgical techniques have improved clinical outcomes and decreased complications. At the same time, heightened attention to care quality has resulted in increased identification of hospital-acquired adverse events. We evaluated these divergent effects on the reported safety of lung cancer resection. Methods and materials We analyzed hospital-acquired adverse events in patients undergoing lung cancer resection using the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) database from 2001-2010. Demographics, diagnoses, and procedures data were abstracted using ICD-9 codes. We used the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) to identify hospital-acquired adverse events. Weighted analyses were performed using t-tests and chi-square. Results A total of 302,444 hospitalizations for lung cancer resection and were included in the analysis. Incidence of PSI increased over time (28% in 2001-2002 vs 34% in 2009-2010; P<0.001). Those with one or more PSI had increased in-hospital mortality (aOR = 11.1; 95% CI, 4.7-26.1; P<0.001) and prolonged hospitalization (12.5 vs 7.8 days; P<0.001). However, among those with PSI, in-hospital mortality decreased over time, from 17% in 2001-2002 to 2% in 2009-2010. Conclusions In a recent ten-year period, documented rates of adverse events associated with lung cancer resection increased. Despite this increase in safety events, we observed that mortality decreased. Because such metrics may be incorporated into hospital rankings and reimbursement considerations, adverse event coding consistency and content merit further evaluation.
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© 2020 von Itzstein et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.