CRMC and others significantly improve surgical outcomes and reduce costs
Monday, Jul 23, 2012
Dr. Scott Copeland.
COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center was one of 10 hospitals included in a recent study published in the “Journal of the American College of Surgeons.” The study found that participation in a regional collaborative of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) helped achieve substantial improvement in surgical outcomes, which led to a savings of more than $2.1 million per 10,000 general and vascular surgery cases.
The Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative (TSQC) collected ACS NSQIP data from the participating hospitals, including CRMC.
“The collaborative is unique and one of only a few of its kind in the nation,” said Dr. Scott Copeland, general/vascular surgeon, who is also the surgeon champion for the CRMC NSQIP initiative and member of the Tennessee NSQIP collaborative. “This collaborative is an example of how surgeons, hospitals and insurance groups can work together to improve quality of care.”
“Using NSQIP data has allowed us to uncover areas for potential improvement,” Copeland added. “Each participating hospital can utilize the NSQIP program to identify areas in which we do well and those on which we need to improve upon. Each participating hospital in the collaborative can then turn to our partner hospitals within the collaborative for valuable, cost-effective, best practice guidelines to ensure patients get the highest standard of care.”
The study evaluated 20 categories of postoperative complications, 30-day mortality rates and hospital costs associated with postoperative complications in a total of 14,205 surgical cases in 2009 and 14,901 surgical cases in 2010.
Overall, the Tennessee collaborative saw improvements in such procedures as acute renal failure, graft/prosthesis/flap failure, ventilator greater than 48 hours, superficial site infection and wound disruption. These improvements led to a net savings of nearly $2.2 million per 10,000 general and vascular procedures. As ACS NSQIP collects only a sample of cases done, the implications for total costs avoided are much greater. It is estimated that 10,000 cases represents only about one fourth of the total general and vascular surgery cases done in the TSQC hospitals in 2009 and 2010 which equals a potential savings of more than $8 million.
The TSQC was formed in 2008 and is led by the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (TnACS) and the Tennessee Hospital Association with funding from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.
“As a result of the success of this collaborative, additional hospitals have asked to join the collaborative,” Copeland said. “All parties involved in the business of health care are aware of the tremendous expense of providing patient care, and we recognize that an important way to reduce costs is to maximize every opportunity we have to improve patient care.”