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Emory University Hospital achieves meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care

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Janet Christenbury

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) has recognized Emory University Hospital as one of 83 ACS NSQIP-participating hospitals to achieve meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care in 2017.

ACS NSQIP-participating hospitals are required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, while analyzing their results in an effort to direct patient safety initiatives within the hospital and improve the quality of surgical care. The hospitals were scored through a weighted formula combining the outcomes of patient management in eight clinical areas:

  • mortality
  • cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction
  • pneumonia
  • unplanned intubation
  • ventilator care exceeding 48 hours
  • kidney failure
  • surgical site infection
  • urinary tract infection

Based on the hospital’s composite quality score of the eight outcomes, Emory University Hospital received meritorious status on two different lists – “All Cases” and “High Risk” cases. Just 58 hospitals out of the 83 were recognized on both lists.

“This is an outstanding achievement for our entire surgical department at Emory University Hospital,” says Joe Sharma, MD, associate professor of surgery at Emory, ACS NSQIP surgical champion and chief quality officer for the Department of Surgery. “We have been using ACS NSQIP since 2009 to track and monitor the quality of our many surgical programs on an inpatient and outpatient basis. We have had targeted successes in several areas along the way but this recognition is the culmination of all of those efforts. Congratulations to all of the members of our team.”

Risk-adjusted data from the July 2018 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2017 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes. A total of 708 hospitals were included in the July 2018 report.

“Using the data from the ACS NSQIP program to improve surgical quality has been an exciting journey and terrific learning experience for our team,” says John Sweeney, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. “We are pleased with this important validation from the American College of Surgeons, and know our patients are the ones who benefit the most from this recognition.”

In 2017, 2050 surgeries performed at Emory University Hospital were abstracted and analyzed for outcomes. These were in the areas of general, hepatobiliary, colorectal, thyroid, hernia, oncology, breast and plastic surgery.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. The program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively, as well as risk adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and their severity of illness. The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the "best scientific evidence" to the practice of surgery. 

A complete list of the most recently named ACS NSQIP Meritorious Hospitals can be viewed here.

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