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Surgical Volumes

Surgical volumes are the number of times a hospital has done a specific surgical procedure in a defined time period. Hospitals that do more of a specific surgical procedure tend to have better outcomes for their patients than hospitals that do less of them. Patients should ask their surgeon how many times the surgeon and the hospital have done their specific surgical procedure in the last two years.


What is this measure?

For a number of surgical procedures, studies have shown a strong relationship exists between the number of times a hospital performs a specific surgical procedure and the outcomes for those patients, including death and complication rates. In May 2015, Johns Hopkins Health System, along with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and University of Michigan, pledged that their hospitals would meet annual volume thresholds for 10 surgical procedures. The 10 procedures identified by this group of hospitals are those that have the strongest link between hospital volume and patient mortality. Many of the surgeries listed below consist of multiple types of surgeries. For example, some examples of the surgeries that fall in the Complex Aortic Surgery category are thoracic aortic surgery, valve surgery and aortic aneurysm surgery.

Why is it important?

Patients who need to undergo a surgical procedure should understand both the experience of their surgeon and the experience of the hospital where the surgery will be done. For many surgical procedures, there is a strong link between how many times the hospital has done the procedure and the outcomes for those patients. Hospitals that do more of a procedure tend to have lower death rates and complication rates for their patients.

We urge our patients to ask their surgeon how many times the surgeon and the hospital have done their specific surgical procedure in the last two years.

How does Johns Hopkins Medicine perform?

check_circle meets volume target
cancel below volume target
Number of Bariatric Surgeries for Weight Loss per Year
Volume Target The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Academic Division Volume*
50 Procedure not done electively at this hospital** 330

* Academic Division Volume is the combined surgery total from The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

** For some surgery types, Johns Hopkins has decided to perform the majority of those surgeries at specific hospitals, unless the patient is unable to be transferred safely or it is determined to be in the patient's best interest to remain at that hospital due to other medical needs and conditions.

*** Data as reported for the 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Survey

What is Johns Hopkins Medicine doing to continue to improve?

The Surgical Volume Pledge reinforces the need for the Johns Hopkins Health System to review where surgical procedures are being done and what level of volume each hospital is doing, and to consider opportunities to shift procedures from lower-volume hospitals to higher-volume hospitals.

Johns Hopkins Medicine recognizes that traveling to a hospital farther away from home can be inconvenient for the patient, the patient’s family and their loved ones, but Johns Hopkins Medicine strongly believes that the end goal of providing the best and safest care for our patients is a trade-off that is worth taking.

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