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de Jager E, Osman SY, Levine AA, Liu C, Maggard Gibbons MA, Ko CY, Burstin HR, Haider AH, Hoyt DB, Schoenfeld AJ, Britt LD, Weissman JS. Disparity-Sensitive Measures in Surgical Care: A Delphi Panel Consensus. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2023 Jan 1; 236(1):135-143.
BACKGROUND: In the US, disparities in surgical care impede the delivery of uniformly high-quality care to all patients. There is a lack of disparity-sensitive measures related to surgical care. The American College of Surgeons Metrics for Equitable Access and Care in Surgery group, through research and expert consensus, aimed to identify disparity-sensitive measures in surgical care. STUDY DESIGN: An environmental scan, systematic literature review, and subspecialty society surveys were conducted to identify potential disparity-sensitive surgical measures. A modified Delphi process was conducted where panelists rated measures on both importance and validity. In addition, a novel literature-based disparity-sensitive scoring process was used. RESULTS: We identified 841 potential disparity-sensitive surgical measures. From these, our Delphi and literature-based approaches yielded a consensus list of 125 candidate disparity-sensitive measures. These measures were rated as both valid and important and were supported by the existing literature. CONCLUSION: There are profound disparities in surgical care within the US healthcare system. A multidisciplinary Delphi panel identified 125 potential disparity-sensitive surgical measures that could be used to track health disparities, evaluate the impact of focused interventions, and reduce healthcare inequity.