The Florida Hospital Association and the AmericanCollege of Surgeons have launched an initiative to improve patient safety and the quality of surgical care while reducing costs in the state of Florida. The effort, called the Florida Surgical Care Initiative, was announced this week at the National Patient Safety Foundation’s 12th Patient Safety Congress, taking place this week in Orlando.
The initiative will focus on four key areas: surgical site and urinary tract infections (two of the most common complications), colorectal surgery outcomes (an area with higher rates of complications), and elderly surgery outcomes (since elderly patients are more likely to experience complications). The initiative was developed based on the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), which uses risk-adjusted, clinical, 30-day outcomes data to review and assess outcomes and complications related to surgical care. “Before you can improve quality, you must first be able to accurately measure it,” said Clifford Ko, M.D., director of the NSQIP. “You wouldn’t want your doctor to determine the next steps in your care by looking at your billing information. Nor should we be relying on that information alone to judge the quality of the care provided. Unlike many quality improvement programs today, this initiative is based on collecting clinical information and following patients for 30 days after they leave the hospital.”