Hospitals that do fewer than 14 heart transplants a year see significantly more patients die within 30 days than do higher-volume transplant centers, according to a study of United Network for Organ Sharing data.
Researchers argued that physicians and policymakers should steer patients toward high-volume transplant centers to get better outcomes.
But other experts said transplant volume is not the only factor that should be considered when aiming for quality.
“This is not a new concept,” said study co-investigator John V. Conte, MD, director of heart and lung transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which handles 20 to 30 heart transplants annually. “The evidence shows that the more you do of any complex procedure, the better that people are going to be at it.”
The whole shebang.