Abstract

The population that undergoes pediatric surgical procedures in high-resource settings such as Canada primarily comprises healthy patients who undergo low-risk, elective surgeries and fewer higher-risk patients who require more complex surgeries. Given this variability, there is a relatively low incidence of traditionally measured "critical" outcomes within any single pediatric surgical system or even pediatric surgical subspecialty, rendering the currently available quality measurement tools inadequate to provide sensitive measures of quality. In an era when scalable solutions are required to improve health outcomes across entire populations, there is an urgent need for more holistic measures of a child's well-being to benchmark and measure changes in quality of care. This article discusses opportunities for enhanced performance measurement in pediatric surgery using a value-based framework to identify and measure patient and family outcomes of importance over the full care cycle, from initial presentation through surgery and recovery to sustainability of health. In suggesting new avenues for performance measurement, we highlight how these measures can be used to develop, evaluate and refine surgical system innovations such as bundled care pathways and perioperative care homes.