American Thyroid Association Statement on the Essential Elements of Interdisciplinary Communication of Perioperative Information for Patients Undergoing Thyroid Cancer Surgery

American Thyroid Association Statement on the Essential Elements of Interdisciplinary Communication of Perioperative Information for Patients Undergoing Thyroid Cancer Surgery

Sally E. Carty,1 Gerard M. Doherty,2 William B. Inabnet III,3 Janice L. Pasieka,4 Gregory W. Randolph,5 Ashok R. Shaha,6 David J. Terris,7 Ralph P. Tufano,8 and R. Michael Tuttle, for the Surgical Affairs Committee of the American Thyroid Association9

Background: Thyroid cancer specialists require specific perioperative information to develop a management plan for patients with thyroid cancer, but there is not yet a model for effective interdisciplinary data communication. The American Thyroid Association Surgical Affairs Committee was asked to define a suggested essential perioperative dataset representing the critical information that should be readily available to participating members of the treatment team.

Methods: To identify and agree upon a multidisciplinary set of critical perioperative findings requiring communication, we examined diverse best-practice documents relating to thyroidectomy and extracted common features felt to enhance precise, direct communication with nonsurgical caregivers.

Results: Suggested essential datasets for the preoperative, intraoperative, and immediate postoperative findings and management of patients undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer were identified and are presented. For operative reporting, the essential features of both a dictated narrative format and a synoptic computer format are modeled in detail. The importance of interdisciplinary communication is discussed with regard to the extent of required resection, the final pathology findings, surgical complications, and other factors that may influence risk stratification, adjuvant treatment, and surveillance.

Conclusions: Accurate communication of the important findings and sequelae of thyroidectomy for cancer is critical to individualized risk stratification as well as to the clinical issues of thyroid cancer care that are often jointly managed in the postoperative setting. True interdisciplinary care is essential to providing optimal care and surveillance.

Authors are listed in alphabetical order.

1Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
3Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York.
4
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
5Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts.
6Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
7Department of Otolaryngology, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia.
8Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
9Department of Endocrinology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

American Thyroid Association Statement on the Essential Elements of Interdisciplinary Communication of Perioperative Information for Patients Undergoing Thyroid Cancer Surgery (PDF File, 131 KB)

Address correspondence to:
Sally E. Carty, M.D. Division of Endocrine Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
101 Kauffmann, 3471 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
E-mail: cartyse@upmc.edu