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Donald S. Likosky, Ph.D.

Dr. Likosky is an Associate Professor and head of the Section of Health Services Research and Quality in the Department of Cardiac Surgery. His work has two broad themes

1) Describe, understand the source and impact of, and reduce variation in cardiac surgical practices

He has interest and expertise in drawing insight regarding the source and consequence of variation in cardiac surgical practices, especially as a vehicle for developing best practices. He has explored this theme primarily within the context of quality improvement organizations. He is a member of the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative, and works with centers throughout the state of Michigan to improve the quality and safety of cardiac surgery. He developed a network of regional cardiovascular quality collaboratives [called the IMPROVE Network], which seeks to improve the value of cardiovascular surgical care across its member organizations. He has also developed a cardiovascular perfusion registry (called PERForm) to draw insight into the contribution of cardiovascular perfusion to clinical outcomes through its linkage with surgical datasets. This registry has enrolled over 12,000 patients at more than 2 dozen hospitals in and outside of Michigan.

2) Describe and understand the role of technology and innovation in cardiac surgical care

He has investigated the effectiveness of technology and innovative approaches for conducting cardiac surgical care. He has developed and implemented an intra-operative model that includes surgical case videos. These case videos display the patient’s physiologic responses to care along with a view of the surgical procedure. These data are linked to clinical registry data to capture information detailing the patient’s comorbidities and post-operative sequelae. His approach has led to an 80% reduction in cerebral emboli after cardiac surgery through the redesign of the technology used in a cardiopulmonary bypass circuit. He is currently exploring this theme in the setting of transcatheter aortic valve replacement.


Groom RC, Quinn RD, Lennon P, Donegan DJ, Braxton JH, Kramer RS, Weldner PW, Russo L, Christie AA, Taenzer AH, Forest RJ, Clark C, Welch J, Ross CS, O’Connor GT, Likosky DS, Detection and Elimination of Microemboli Related to Cardiopulmonary Bypass. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2009 May;2(3):191-8.

Likosky DS, Fitzgerald DC, Groom RC, Jones DK, Baker RA, Shann KG, Mazer CD, Spiess BD, Body SC. Effect of the Perioperative Blood Transfusion and Blood Conservation in Cardiac Surgery Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists upon Clinical Practices. Anesth Analg 2010; 112: 316-23.

Dacey LJ, Braxton JH, Kramer RS, Schmoker J, Charlesworth DC, Helm R, Frumiento C, Sardella G, Clough R, Jones S, Malenka DJ, Olmstead EM, Ross CS, O’Connor GT, Likosky DS. Long-term outcomes of endoscopic vein harvesting after coronary artery bypass grafting. Circulation 2011; 123: 147-53.

Likosky DS, Goldberg JB, Discipio AW, Kramer RS, Groom RC, Leavitt BJ, Surgenor SD, Baribeau YR, Charlesworth DC, Helm RE, Frumiento C, Sardella GL, Clough RA, Mackenzie TA, Malenka DJ, Olmstead EM, Ross CS; for the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group. Variability in Surgeons’ perioperative practices may influence the incidence of low-output failure after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2012 Sep 1;5(5):638-44.

Active Grants

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, Assessing Long-term Survival after Cardiac Surgery, 9/2013 – 6/2014.

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, Rationalizing the Treatment of Intra-operative Anemia in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, 1/2013 – 12/2013, Principal Investigator.

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, Assessment of Neurologic Injury Subsequent to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: A Feasibility Study.

National Institute on Aging. Causes and Consequences of Health Care Efficiency. 9/15/2001–11/30/2017

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R01), Optimizing Prevention of Healthcare-Acquired Infections after Cardiac Surgery, 10/01/2013 – 9/30/2017.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R21), Leveraging Health IT to Avoid Unnecessary Asymptomatic Carotid Revascularization, 12/2013 – 11/2015.

Submitted Grants

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R03), Determinants of Blood Transfusions after Cardiac Surgery, 04/01/2014 – 03/31/2016.

American Heart Association NCRP Summer 2013 Innovative Research Grant, Determinants of Blood Transfusions after Cardiac Surgery, 04/01/2014–12/31/2015.