Modern information technology coupled with synoptic methodology allows point of care, real time outcomes generation. Our objective was to review province-wide breast cancer surgery outcomes from a prospective synoptic operative record to demonstrate its value in knowledge translation.
All synoptic reports for breast cancer procedures from 2006 until March 2010 were reviewed and descriptively analyzed. Key outcomes included frequency of breast cancer procedures captured over time, methods of breast cancer detection, clinical staging, method of axillary staging, breast conservation and reconstruction rates. Further analysis involved important decision-making for mastectomy and resource allocation for surgery.
Four thousand nine hundred fifty-five breast cancer procedures were recorded synoptically; greater than 80% of cases provincially. Method of breast cancer detection was 49%, 45% and 4% by screening radiology, patient or family, and physician, respectively. Pathologic diagnoses were via core or mammotome biopsy in 94%; nearly half of all patients were clinical Stage I at time of operation. Overall rate of breast conservation was 48%. Of the 65% who had no contra-indication to breast conservation surgery, 76% had breast conservation and 4% had primary reconstruction. Of those having mastectomy, one third were due to patient choice. Seventy-nine percent had sentinel node staging, 18% had full axillary dissection and 3% had no axillary staging.
A new paradigm of creating medical records using synoptic electronic templates allows prospective outcomes generation at point of care by the surgeon which is unparalleled in its depth of surgical detail capturing surgical decision-making.
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Accepted: June 1, 2010
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