OBJECTIVE: To assess risk-adjusted outcomes and participant perceptions following a statewide coaching program for bariatric surgeons. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Coaching has emerged as a new approach for improving individual surgeon performance, but lacks evidence linking to clinical outcomes. METHODS: This program took place between October 2015 and February 2018 in the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative. Surgeons were categorized as coach, participant, or nonparticipant for an interrupted time series analysis. Multilevel logistic regression models included patient characteristics, time trends, and number of sessions. Risk-adjusted overall and surgical complication rates are reported, as are within-group relative risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals. We also compared operative times and report risk differences and 95% confidence intervals. Iterative thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews examined participant and coach perceptions of the program. RESULTS: The coaching program was viewed favorably by most surgeons and many participants described numerous technical and nontechnical practice changes. The program was not associated with significant change in risk-adjusted complications with relative risks for coaches, participants, and nonparticipants of 0.99 (0.62-1.37), 0.91 (0.64-1.17), and 1.15 (0.83-1.47), respectively. Operative times did improve for participants, but not coaches or nonparticipants, with risk differences of -14.0 (-22.3, -5.7), -1.0 (-4.5, 2.4), and -2.6 (-6.9, 1.7). Future coaching programmatic design should consider dose-complexity matching, hierarchical leveling, and optimizing video review. CONCLUSIONS: This statewide surgical coaching program was perceived as valuable and surgeons reported numerous practice changes. Operative times improved, but there was no significant improvement in risk-adjusted outcomes.
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