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Why you may use a ‘scorecard’ to choose your next surgeon




A surgeon (L) and an assistant surgeon perform an open-heart surgery in a cardiac surgery.
A surgeon (L) and an assistant surgeon perform an open-heart surgery in a cardiac surgery.
Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images

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A new digital scorecard from ProPublica measures how the country’s surgeons stack-up against their peers.

The database keeps tabs on nearly 17,000 doctors who perform low-risk elective surgeries. Scorecards use Medicare records to keep track of surgery-related complications like infection, blood clots or return trips to the hospital. ProPublica hopes it will bring transparency to the medical world, and lead to better patient care, but the new service could make life more difficult for the surgeons who can’t cut it.

Take Two spoke to ProPublica health reporter Marshall Allen about the service he helped create.

We also spoke to Dr. Robert Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at UCSF a national expert in patient safety.

Press the play button above to hear more about the Surgeon Scorecard.