Background/purpose: A key measure to maintain and improve the quality of healthcare is the formal accreditation of provider units. The European Society of Endocrine Surgeons (ESES) therefore proposes a system of accreditation for endocrine surgical centers in Europe to supplement existing measures that promote high standards in the practice in endocrine surgery. Methods: A working group analyzed the current healthcare situation in the field of endocrine surgery in Europe. Two surveys were distributed to ESES members to acquire information about the structure, staffing, caseload, specifications, and technology available to endocrine surgery units. Further data were sought on tracer diagnoses for quality standards, training provision, and research activity. Existing accreditation models related to endocrine surgery were included in the analysis. Results: The analysis of existing accreditation models, available evidence, and survey results suggests that a majority of ESES members aspire to a two-level model (termed competence and reference centers), sub-divided into those providing neck endocrine surgery and those providing endocrine surgery. Criteria for minimum caseload, number and certification of staff, unit structure, on-site collaborating disciplines, research activities, and training capacity for competence center accreditation are proposed. Lastly, quality indicators for distinct tracer diagnoses are defined. Conclusions: Differing healthcare structures, existing accreditation models, training models, and varied case volumes across Europe are barriers to the conception and implementation of a pan-European accreditation model. However, there is consensus on accepted standards required for accrediting an ESES competence center. These will serve as a basis for first-stage accreditation of endocrine surgery units.
- Endocrine surgery
- Quality control