Quality of care differs by patient characteristics: Outcome disparities after ambulatory surgical procedures

Nir Menachemi, Askar Chukmaitov, L. Steven Brown, Charles Saunders, Robert G. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The surgery literature is filled with reports on racial or gender disparities in quality. However, whether patient demographics are risk factors for complications or death from ambulatory surgical procedures is unknown. This study explores whether racial, age, and gender outcome disparities exist after ambulatory surgeries. Patients studied included adults (>18 years) receiving common ambulatory surgical procedures (N = 3 174 436) in either a freestanding ambulatory surgical center or a hospital-based outpatient department during 1997-2004 in Florida. Results demonstrate that African Americans were at a significantly increased risk for either mortality or unexpected hospitalization in 4 of the 5 procedures examined, even after controlling for confounders. For women, unexpected hospital admission or mortality was less likely to occur after almost all procedures examined. Thus, many of the racial and gender disparities in the inpatient surgical literature are also observed in the ambulatory setting. More research is needed to determine the source of these disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory surgical procedures
  • Arthroscopy
  • Cataract removal
  • Colonoscopy
  • Disparities
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Quality of care
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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