American College of Surgeons Forum Focuses on Surgical Safety

The American College of Surgeons hosted its fourth annual Surgical Health Care Quality Forum at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., to discuss surgical quality improvement programs that increase healthcare value.

The forum focused on how to improve collaboration, and ultimately patient outcomes and lower costs, through the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. ACS NSQIP collects clinical, risk-adjusted 30-day outcomes data in a nationally benchmarked database.


A 2009 study published in the Annals of Surgery determined that hospitals participating in ACS NSQIP prevented 250 to 500 complications, resulting in an average of 13 to 26 lives saved per hospital each year. With the average cost of medical complications equaling $11,000 per occurrence, the combined potential savings of 4,500 hospitals could add up to $13 billion to $26 billion each year.

Attendees included Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health; Mark A. Talamini, MD, professor and chairman of the department of surgery at University of California, San Diego; and Mark Schumacher, MD, physician director of hospital surgical services at Kaiser Permanente.

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