From the Wires
Health Care Leaders Share Data on Proven Quality Programs, Offer Path Forward for Improving Patient Care and Reducing Health Care Costs in Georgia and Across the Nation
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 12, 2012 07:37 PM
New Georgia Hospital Collaborative Announced at American College of Surgeons Quality Forum
CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the American College of Surgeons (ACS), in association with the American Cancer Society, hosted the ACS Surgical Health Care Quality Forum Georgia, the 11th program in a series of events to drive national discussions on effective quality improvement methods that surgeons, physicians and hospitals are using to improve patient safety and reduce costs. Presenters also announced the creation of the Georgia Surgical Quality Collaborative, a statewide effort to encourage information-sharing among hospitals and utilize the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) to focus on improving outcomes in key areas of surgical care.
The forum also featured a panel of Georgia health care leaders and a rich discussion on how state hospitals, academic institutions, health plans and government institutions are using quality improvement programs, including ACS NSQIP, to improve patient outcomes and increase the value of health care.
"We are at a critical period in health care delivery where we have the opportunity to be leaders in bringing quality improvement programs to Georgia in an effort to benefit our patients and reduce costs," said forum co-host LaMar McGinnis, MD, FACS, past president of ACS and senior medical advisor and liaison to the American Cancer Society.
"Regulators are continuing to realize the value of using clinical outcomes data versus administrative claims data to measure and track quality," said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, executive director of ACS. "As CMS and others start tying these measures to value-based purchasing programs, hospitals have a reputational and financial incentive to participate in programs like ACS NSQIP to achieve better outcomes and decrease costs."
New Georgia Surgical Quality Collaborative Announced
"This collaborative is a significant milestone to improve care for surgical patients in our state because it allows us to create a positive learning environment among all participating hospitals and work together to determine where improvement is needed most," said John Sweeney, MD, FACS, W. Dean Warren Distinguished Professor of Surgery, and chief, Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. "As it stands, hospitals can't fix errors if they don't know a problem exists. Examining and comparing clinical outcomes data with our peers from each corner of the state will help us move the needle to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall health care costs."
A recent study by Sweeney, et al., "Risk Factors for 30-Day Hospital Readmission among General Surgery Patients," was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of American College of Surgeons and showed postoperative complications drive readmissions – citing surgical site infections (SSI) as one of the biggest contributing factors (22.1 percent). Studies show that hospitals participating in ACS NSQIP prevent an average of 250-500 complications, and save 12-36 lives and $3 million per hospital, per year. With the average cost of surgical complications equaling $11,000 per occurrence, the combined potential savings of 4,500 hospitals could add up to $13-26 billion each year and a total savings of $260 billion over a period of 10 years.
Forum Presenters Discuss Benefits of Quality Programs
Additional forum presenters commented on proven quality programs that are making an impact on patient outcomes and health care costs in local hospitals and nationwide, including:
Following the introductory presentations, Bruce Feinberg, DO, vice president and chief medical officer of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, and host of The Weekly Check-Up on WSB Radio in Atlanta, moderated a lively panel discussion with additional health care experts representing health plans/payers, purchasers and hospitals, including: Jerry Dubberly, PharmD, MBA, chief, Medicaid Division, Georgia Department of Community Health; Alexandra Leopold, regional vice president, provider engagement and contracting, BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia; Dane C. Peterson, MBA, chief executive officer, Emory Hospital Midtown; and Karen Waters, RN, MHA, MBA, senior vice president, professional services and strategic planning, Georgia Hospital Association
To further encourage community-level health care leaders to share best practices on quality improvement, the ACS will continue to host a series of community forums across the nation, including Orlando on January 23, 2013. To view the archived Georgia forum video and follow updates on upcoming tour locations, please visit InspiringQuality.FACS.org or the College's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/AmCollegeofSurgeons.
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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