American Society of Breast Surgeons

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 17, Supplement 3, pp 233-241

First online:

Early Results from a Novel Quality Outcomes Program: The American Society of Breast Surgeons’ Mastery of Breast Surgery

  • Edward J. CliffordAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Baylor Medical Center at Irving Email author 
  • , Edward B. De VolAffiliated withBaylor Health Care System Institute for Health Care Research and Improvement
  • , Barbara A. PockajAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Mayo Clinic
  • , Lee G. WilkeAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center
  • , Judy C. BougheyAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Mayo Clinic

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In 2008, the American Society for Breast Surgeons launched its Mastery in Breast Surgery Pilot Program to demonstrate feasibility of a Web-based tool for breast surgeons to document and monitor quality outcomes.


Participating surgeons report performance of three quality measures for breast procedures: Was a needle biopsy performed to evaluate the breast lesion before the procedure? Was the surgical specimen oriented? For nonpalpable lesions localized with image guidance, was there intraoperative confirmation of removal? Data are collected through the American Society for Breast Surgeons’ Web-based software using a secure server and encrypted identification numbers. Surgeon demographic/practice characteristic data were collected, and logistic regression models were used to identify factors that affected quality measures.


From October 2008 to December 2009, a total of 696 surgeons entered data for 28,798 breast procedures. Participants were diverse in years in practice, geographic location, practice setting and type, and proportion of practice made up of breast procedures. Delivery of “optimal care” (defined as delivery of all quality measures for which there was no valid clinical reason for nonperformance) was high for all surgeon demographic/practice characteristics, ranging from 81% to 94%. Statistically significant differences in delivery of quality measures were observed within all physician demographic/practice characteristic variables, but many absolute differences were small.


The high level of participation and volume of breast procedures for which quality measure data was entered demonstrate this is a feasible means of collecting quality performance data. Future development will include identifying/developing additional quality measures and establishing evidence-based benchmarks for care on the basis of data collected.