Surgical or procedure volume tells the number of cases performed per year by a surgeon, or at a particular facility. Surgical volume may be used to denote clinical expertise. Numerous studies demonstrate that higher volume of a particular procedure, such as CABG, is significantly linked to better outcomes, according to The Leapfrog Group.
The Leapfrog Group recommends 450 CABG procedures per year as the minimum volume standard in order to achieve better surgical outcomes (Annals of Surgery, October 2003: 238(4); 447-457). However, other studies have shown that high volume is not the only important measure of quality. In fact, some hospitals may have a lower volume and still have excellent outcomes (JAMA, January 14, 2004: 291(2); 195-201).