ACS' Online Tool Helps Predict Postoperative Complications

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program's online risk calculator, may help predict post-surgical complications, according to a study in JAMA Surgery.

To use the tool, physicians input data into the ACS NSQIP Surgical Risk Calculator, such as procedure, patient body mass index, smoking history and conditions prior to surgery, and receive an estimate postoperative complication risk.

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Researchers analyzed data from more than 142,000 patients in the database who underwent non-cardiac surgery. Patients with an ACS NSQIP predicted risk of greater than or equal to 10 percent were ten times more likely to be readmitted than patients with a low predicted risk.

Researchers suggest using the surgical risk calculator can help hospitals reduce unplanned hospitalizations and readmissions.

"If a patient's predicted risk of complications is high, which we've shown puts them at greater risk of readmission, a physician might decide to move the patient to the intensive care unit or a step-down unit after surgery, as opposed to a regular hospital unit that manages less sick patients," said Laurent Glance, MD, lead study author and professor in the departments of anesthesiology and public health sciences at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry, in a news release regarding the study.

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