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Niagara Health recognized for surgical care and patient safety

Niagara Health has been recognized by The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
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Niagara Health has been recognized by The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) for providing quality surgical care and patient safety in 2022.

It joins a select group of hospitals in achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in the ACS NSQIP “High Risk” category. The College of Surgeons used risk-adjusted data from the July 2023 ACS NSQIP Semi-annual Report, which presents data from the 2022 calendar year to determine the hospitals demonstrating meritorious outcomes.

Participating hospitals receive a meritorious composite score in either an “All Cases” category or a “High Risk” category that includes higher risk cases. Each composite score was determined using a different weighted formula that combined eight outcomes related to patient management. The outcomes used to create composite quality scores are: mortality, unplanned intubation, ventilator > 48 hours, renal failure, cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction); respiratory (pneumonia); surgical site infections (SSI), including superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSI; or urinary tract infection. 

Niagara Health is one of 78 commended hospitals to achieve the distinction in the “High Risk” category based on their outstanding composite quality score. ACS NSQIP has recognized 10 Ontario surgical quality teams out of an eligible 615 hospitals worldwide for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care last year.

“This recognition is most significant because Niagara Health is being compared to many other hospitals and we’re exceeding the standard,” says Dr. Christopher Blewett, a Niagara Health surgeon. “All the effort that’s been made to improve quality has been successful. Everyone has always tried to do a quality job, but you only really know how you’re doing if it’s measured. We saw where we weren’t measuring up and worked from there.”

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, Niagara Health is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that assesses patient safety and can be used to direct improvement in the quality of surgical care.

This is the sixth year Niagara Health has participated in ACS NSQIP.

“By examining our data relative to other hospitals, we can readily identify areas where Niagara Health needs to improve and put action plans in place to do it,” says Jaelynne Sonke, Director of Surgical Services. “This recognition is a real team effort, requiring many people and the co-ordination of many departments to achieve it. I’m very proud of the team and the work the team has done. Our involvement in ACS NSQIP keeps getting stronger.”

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days post-operatively, as well as risk-adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels. 

The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity from infection or illness related to a surgical procedure, and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure), and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the “best scientific evidence” to the practice of surgery. 

Furthermore, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in healthcare costs follows. ACS NSQIP is a major program of the American College of Surgeons and is currently used in over 850 adult and pediatric hospitals, including hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.