Members of Richmond Hospital’s multidisciplinary surgical team welcome the news of Meritorious Distinction from ACS NSQIP with the thumbs up.

RH surgical program earns prestigious quality designation

Richmond Hospital’s surgical program is one of the best in North America, according to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ASC NSQIP).

Garnering the “meritorious” distinction on October 18, Richmond Hospital scored highly in eight surgical outcome areas for all surgery cases for the NSQIP performance period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

“I feel so privileged to work with a team that has achieved this significant milestone,” said Dr. Brenda Wagner, Senior Medical Director, VCH Richmond. “Everyone, from our pre-operative teams through to our operating and post-operative care unit, including nurses, care aides, allied staff, cleaning staff, anesthetists, surgeons and the internists have worked together to ensure Richmond is providing safe, surgical patient care.”

A total of 66 of 680 participating hospitals have achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2016. Other hospitals earning the meritorious distinction include St. Michael’s Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Mount Sinai in New York City, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and Duke University Hospital in North Carolina.

“I am so very proud of our entire Richmond surgical team,” said Gail Malenstyn, director, Surgery, Procedural Care and Medicine. “This award is proof-positive that our collective dedication to improving surgical outcomes starts in our surgeons’ offices and continues through to the staff that works in our post-op units. Every single member of this team is focused on best practice.”

Improved patient outcomes

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, Richmond Hospital is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that directs patient safety and the quality of surgical care improvements.  The eight clinical areas measured: mortality, cardiac incidents, respiratory (pneumonia), unplanned intubation, ventilator > 48 hours, renal failure, surgical site infection (SSI), and urinary tract Infection (UTI).

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. When adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in health care costs follows.

“Going forward, we are going to include the whole perioperative team in our surgical quality meetings so we can continue to build on this significant achievement,” added Dr. Wagner. “If you are part of the surgical team and would like to join us at the next Surgical Quality Meeting, please let us know. We’d love to have you there.”

What is it?

ACS NSQIP is a major program of the American College of Surgeons and is currently used in nearly 800 adult and pediatric hospitals. It is the only national quality improvement program that measures the care of surgical patients. It measures actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively and is risk-adjusted to reflect differences among patient populations and acuity levels.



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