American College of Surgeons launches campaign to improve surgical care quality

A national campaign launched by the American College of Surgeons to improve patient care and safety in hospitals nationwide hopes to "promote policy frameworks and incentives" that drive improvements across the country, according to an April 14 news release.

The Power of Quality campaign includes 18 programs that range across medical specialties and are tailored to improving strategic outcomes, policies and care at hospitals nationally. 

The programs "not only define the foundations needed to improve surgical care but also offer a roadmap for an entire care team to achieve high quality," the release states. "This differs from the current national strategy that largely sets outcome goals without ensuring support to achieve them, leading to significant variability in patient care."

Along with the campaign, the ACS also launched a program for hospitals to earn a "Surgical Quality Trust Mark" from the organization to display if they meet quality standards outlined by the ACS in recognition of a facility's "commitment to improving care for the patients they serve." 

Programs like these are needed, because "current national strategies are insufficient to achieve high quality surgical care, as there is too much variability within them," according to Timothy Eberlein, MD, chair of the ACS Board of Regents. "ACS Quality Programs rely on evidence-based recommendations to provide hospitals with a roadmap to improve their surgical processes, reduce redundancies, lower costs, and improve patient health and outcomes." 

Past successes include reductions in costs, preventing between 250 and 500 complications per year, saving up to 36 lives per year and reducing the length of hospital stays. 

Inova Health System, which participated in one of the programs from ACS, noted that it allowed them to "establish leadership roles and structures focused on surgical process improvement across specialties, engage all our surgical teams in a culture of quality grounded in the consistent use of data, and enhance communications in our journey to high reliability," according to CEO J. Stephen Jones, MD. 

The ACS's launch of the campaign is an effort to expand programming to more hospitals nationally.

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