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Surgeon-reported Factors Influencing Adoption of Quality Standards for Goal-concordant Care in Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Qualitative Study.

Hu FY, Tabata-Kelly M, Johnston FM, Walling AM, Lindvall C, Bernacki RE, Pusic AL, Cooper Z. Surgeon-reported Factors Influencing Adoption of Quality Standards for Goal-concordant Care in Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Qualitative Study. Annals of surgery. 2022 Jun 29.

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OBJECTIVE: This study explored surgical oncologists'' perspectives on factors influencing adoption of quality standards in patients with advanced cancer. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The American College of Surgeons Geriatric Surgery Verification Program includes communication standards designed to facilitate goal-concordant care, yet little is known about how surgeons believe these standards align with clinical practice. METHODS: Semi-structured video-based interviews were conducted from November 2020-January 2021 with academic surgical oncologists purposively sampled based on demographics, region, palliative care certification and years in practice. Interviews addressed: (1) adherence to standards documenting care preferences for life-sustaining treatment, surrogate decision-maker, and goals of surgery, and (2) factors influencing their adoption into practice. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, qualitatively analyzed, and conducted until thematic saturation was reached. RESULTS: Twenty-six surgeons participated (57.7% male, 8.5 mean years in practice, 19.2% palliative care board-certified). Surgeons reported low adherence to documenting care preferences and surrogate decision-maker and high adherence to discussing, but not documenting, goals of surgery. Participants held conflicting views about the relevance of care preferences to preoperative conversations and surrogate decision-maker documentation by the surgeon and questioned the direct connection between documentation of quality standards and higher value patient care. Key themes regarding factors influencing adoption of quality standards included organizational culture, workflow, and multidisciplinary collaboration. CONCLUSIONS: Although surgeons routinely discuss goals of surgery, documentation is inconsistent; care preferences and surrogate decision-makers are rarely discussed or documented. Adherence to these standards would be facilitated by multidisciplinary collaboration, institutional standardization, and evidence linking standards to higher value care.

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