Measuring the Quality of Thyroid Cancer Care

The Cedars-Sinai Thyroid Cancer Center provides comprehensive and cutting-edge diagnostic services and clinical care for thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases, along with research, education, and community service activities related to these conditions.

The Thyroid Cancer Center is designated as one of Cedars-Sinai's  Centers of Excellence. It includes a world-class team of outstanding physicians from a variety of sub-specialties. These physicians work together to promote the best possible medical care.

Board-Certified Expertise in Thyroid Cancer Care

Every physician at the Cedars-Sinai Thyroid Cancer Center is board-certified.

Board certification is the process by which a physician is tested in a medical specialty field. The requirements are determined by a board of specialists in that field, and demonstrate a physician's expertise in it. At Cedars-Sinai, physicians are required to be board certified to be a member of a clinical Center of Excellence.

Procedure Volumes

The Cedars-Sinai Thyroid Cancer Center monitors the type and volumes of procedures done. Studies suggest that for many surgical procedures, hospitals that perform high volumes have better quality outcomes, i.e. lower short-term and long term mortality and morbidity. Volume is an indicator of experience, which influences outcomes in multiple ways. In addition to the experience of surgeons in performing specific procedures, high volume hospitals may institute specific care processes that improve outcomes and have the infrastructure dedicated to particular clinical specialties, including related technology and intensive care personnel. Commitment to quality standards throughout the institution is also an important determinant of better outcomes1,2. In addition, outcomes for high-risk procedures have been shown to be better when performed by more highly-trained surgeons than by general surgeons.

The table below reflects the volume of procedures performed for the past three years.

Volume and Types of Thyroid Procedures Performed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center201120122013
Thyroid, parathyroid and cervical lymph node surgeries338400416
Fine needle aspiration biopsies140414731429

 

Measuring the Quality of Care

The tables below reflects mortality rates for Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma and the complication rates for thyroid surgeries. The mortality data represents those patients who died of thyroid cancer within 10 years of being treated. Patients who died due to other causes, such as a heart attack or an accident, are not included. This data was provided by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database (SEER) for 1983 thru 2002. The Cedars-Sinai statistics reflects patients treated since 1980.

10 Year MortalityCedars-SinaiSEER
All patients1.9%3.4%
Total thyroidectomy1.5%3.2%
ComplicationsCedars-SinaiGoal
Long term vocal cord damage1.4%1%*
Long term hypoparathyroidism (total thyroidectomy only)2.5%1-10%**

 *Cady B, Rossi R. An expanded view of risk-group definition in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Surgery 1988; 104:947-953 and Sherman SI, Brierley JD, Sperling M et al. Prospective multicenter study of thyroid carcinoma treatment: initial analysis of staging and outcome. NTCTCS Study Registry Group. Cancer 1998; 1012-1021.

**Cady B, Rossi R. An expanded view of risk-group definition in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Surgery 1988; 104:947-953

1 Bach PB, Ann Intern Med 2009; 150:729-30
2 Greene FL, Ann Surg Oncol 2007; 15:14-15
3 Kozower BD et al, Ann Thorac Surg 2008; 86:1405-08