Do not use the Surgeon Scorecard

(I have updated this post with a link below to my essay on Medscape.)

No data is better than bad data.

The ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard is not ready for prime time.

It was a good effort. I support investigative journalism and ProPublica. We need more transparency in Medicine. I despise the utter lack of meritocracy in healthcare.

But that doesn’t mean we should embrace flawed data.

My friend, electrophysiologist Dr. Jay Schloss, has written a detailed review of the criticism of the ProPublica project on his blog, Left to My Own Devices.

Jay is one of the sanest, smartest physician voices on the Internet. Here is an excerpt.

So is Surgeon Scorecard bad data? Strong words, but I say yes. This analysis was a great idea, but it fails to deliver on its goals. The data and methodology both have significant flaws. I say that from the perspective of a working clinician and clinical researcher with over 20 years experience. This project is as much science as it is journalism. I therefore see no reason this work should not be peer-reviewed and discussed as would any scientific outcomes study. As I suggested to ProPublica, we need to kick the tires.

Please read Jay’s piece. Then think a bit about data and methods. For instance, if you like your conclusion, that surgeons vary in skill, it’s easy to see past flaws in the experiment.

You can read my take on the Surgeon Scorecard on Medscape: Failing Grade for ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard

JMM

Update: Baltimore, Safety in AF ablation, Podcasts, and some personal notes

On Baltimore: Human beings rioting in the streets of an American city forced cancellation of an important cardiology meeting. This is a vivid example that doctors do not practice in a vacuum. We are connected to this world. Here in Louisville, … [Continue reading]

Update: Social justice of AF care, NOAC monitoring, population health and two new podcasts

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 2.29.45 PM

Hi All, Here is a short update of the past week. The first thing to say is the Atrial Fibrillation Care: Put the Catheter (and Rx Pad) Down post has gotten a lot of attention. It stayed on the most popular list all week. It has over a 130 … [Continue reading]

Writing update: Lown Institute Conference and ACC2015

Lown Institute Core Values

Hi all, I have been busy in the last few weeks. Here is an update of my happenings and posts. From March 8-11, I attended and presented at the third annual Lown Institute Conference in San Diego. I have never felt more at home in a conference than … [Continue reading]