It has been hypothesized that hospitals and surgeons with high caseloads of hip fracture patients have better outcomes, but empirical studies have reported contradictory results. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluates the volume-outcome relationship among patients with hip fracture patients.
A search of different databases was performed up to February 2018. Selection of relevant studies, data extraction, and critical appraisal of the methodological quality was performed by 2 independent reviewers. A random-effects meta-analysis using studies with comparative cut-offs was performed to estimate the effect of hospital and surgeon volume on outcome, defined as in-hospital mortality and postoperative complications.
24 studies comprising 2,023,469 patients were included. Overall, the quality was reasonable. 11 studies reported better health outcomes in high-volume centers and 2 studies reported better health outcomes in low-volume centers. In the meta-analysis of 11 studies there was a statistically non-significant association between higher hospital volume and both lower in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73-1.04) and fewer postoperative complications (aOR 0.87, CI 0.75-1.02). Four studies on surgeon volume were included in the meta-analysis and showed a minor association between higher surgeon volume and in-hospital mortality (aOR 0.92, CI 0.76-1.12).
This systematic review and meta-analysis did not find an evident effect of hospital or surgeon volume on health outcomes. Future research without volume cut-offs is needed to examine whether a true volume-outcome relationship exists.