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Emory University Hospital achieves meritorious results for surgical patient care for second year in a row

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Janet Christenbury

ATLANTA – Emory University Hospital has been recognized by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) as one of 88 hospitals out of an eligible 592 medical centers for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2018. This is the second year in a row that Emory University Hospital has received this recognition.

ACS NSQIP-participating hospitals are required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures. These outcomes are then analyzed by ACS and reported back to hospitals. The results direct patient safety initiatives within the hospital and impact the quality of surgical care.

Emory University Hospital received meritorious status for outstanding composite quality scores in both “All Cases” and “High Risk” categories for surgical care in 2018. Just 56 hospitals were recognized in both categories.

The hospitals are commended for achieving a meritorious composite score in an “All Cases” category or a “High Risk” surgical cases category based on a weighted formula combining the following eight outcomes:

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

“We are pleased to receive meritorious outcomes in both categories for our surgical performance at Emory University Hospital for the second year in a row,” says Joe Sharma, MD, associate professor of surgery at Emory, ACS NSQIP surgical champion and chief quality officer for Emory’s Department of Surgery. “Our entire surgical department at the hospital has been focused on providing exceptional quality care to all of our patients who depend on us for their surgical needs. This program helps us deliver the highest quality of surgical care, it helps us keep track of outcomes and lets us know where to focus our resources for improving outcomes for our patients.”
Emory University Hospital has been using ACS NSQIP since 2009 to track and monitor the quality of its many surgical programs on an inpatient and outpatient basis. In 2018, 2200 surgeries performed at Emory University Hospital were analyzed for their outcomes. These were in the areas of general, hepatobiliary, colorectal, thyroid, hernia, oncology, breast and plastic surgery.
To be eligible for either achievement list, hospitals must submit at least one case per year for a consecutive three-year review to the ACS program, although only performance in calendar year 2018 was evaluated for the 2018 meritorious lists.

“We thank the many dedicated personnel at Emory University Hospital for their efforts in helping us achieve these standards of excellence by the American College of Surgeons,” says John Sweeney, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. “A lot of hard work has gone into this initiative over the past 10 years, supporting the need to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes following 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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