For more than three decades, Daniel Davenport, PhD, MBA, has established himself as a clinical data keeper in the UK College of Medicine Department of Surgery. Faculty and trainees understand that, “if you need surgical data, go see Dan,” he jokes.

Dr. Davenport has used his love for statistics and information to lead a new division within his department – the UK College of Medicine Division of Healthcare Outcomes and Optimal Patient Services (HOOPS). HOOPS was created in 2020 by William B. Inabnet III, MD, MHA, Johnston-Wright Endowed Professor and Chair of Surgery, to help the surgery department expand its research capabilities while improving surgical outcomes to advance care for patients in Kentucky and beyond.

The establishment of the HOOPS division follows the University of Kentucky’s decades of substantial involvement in the national movement to improve the quality of surgical outcomes. In 1999, former UK surgery chair Robert M. Mentzer, MD, helped lead a national study into implementing the VA’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) into the non-VA hospital setting. The NSQIP was demonstrated to be a successful method for measuring and comparing surgical data.

Dr. Davenport was one of the project managers, and in 1999, hired Devauna Adkins as the first nurse clinical case reviewer, a position she currently holds as the nation’s most senior ACS NSQIP data abstractor.

Today, the new HOOPS division expands on the department’s initiatives toward improved quality of care. The team manages data collection and reporting of risk-adjusted surgical outcomes for the NSQIP (now sponsored by the American College of Surgeons), as well as the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ cardiac and general thoracic databases.

The HOOPS team also serves as a liaison to other local and national surgical outcomes databases, provides consultations to trainees and faculty conducting studies, and distributes this newfound knowledge to improve clinical decision making.

“Data analysis is one important component to ensuring optimal surgical results,” Dr. Davenport said. “By having a formal division dedicated to tracking patient outcomes and organizing data, the department can expand its knowledge of surgical disease, improve care, and enhance recruitment of surgical faculty and trainees.”

Dr. Davenport noted two key benefits to having such a division in-house. For one, surgery maintains unique systems for reporting what happens during procedures, and HOOPS is able to track detailed information about clinically diverse patients. Second, his team maintains close relationships with the surgeons who perform these procedures.

“It’s important that we’re embedded in the surgical environment,” he said. “We just have a level of clinical granularity that allows a deeper clinical insight into the issues with the patient and certainly allows for better risk adjustment of our outcomes.”

Beyond direct patient care, the division helps the surgery department train students, residents, and fellows. The HOOPS team is an accessible source of data for learners who are writing papers or participating in the department’s resident research program.

“As our department continues to grow and enhance its research enterprise, we are fortunate to have the expertise of Dr. Davenport, whose data collection and management will be key in improving surgical outcomes for patients and expanding training opportunities in our department,” Dr. Inabnet said.

For more information about HOOPS, click here.