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American College of Surgeons and Ohio Health Care Leaders Identify Tools Used to Improve Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes

CHICAGO, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted the ACS Surgical Health Care Quality Forum Ohio – the 17th in a series of community forums held across the U.S. to share examples of how surgeon-led quality improvement programs have set higher standards, reduced costs and improved patient outcomes at a state and national level. 

The forum, held at The Ohio State University (OSU), featured a panel of health care leaders who discussed the state of health care in Ohio and demonstrated how community health leaders – from government leaders to surgeons – can work together to increase the value of health care.

Keynote speaker Greg Moody, director, Office of Health Transformation, State of Ohio, spoke of the urgency for payment and delivery system reform and Ohio's comprehensive approach to health transformation. He explained, "With more institutions implementing payment strategies that reward quality care, it provides even more motivation to increase quality outcomes for patients. The health care industry is moving toward patients paying for better care, not just more care, and hospitals that implement quality programs will be better equipped for this shift."

"Quality improvement within our operating rooms has evolved greatly over the past 10 years through the combined effort of providers and hospital administration," said co-host E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, distinguished professor and the Robert M. Zollinger Professor of Surgery; CEO, faculty group practice; vice dean, clinical affairs; general surgeon, The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "We need to continue our collaborative efforts to prioritize quality programs and consistently incorporate proven practices across the state to ensure that care given in rural Ohio is equal to care provided in Cleveland and Columbus."

Other speakers from OSU discussed programs they have used to achieve measurable quality improvement, including the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® (ACS NSQIP®), a leading and successful model giving more than 500 hospitals across the country reliable data to help pinpoint areas for improvement. ACS NSQIP is unique from other quality programs because it uses risk- and procedure mix-adjusted data taken from the patient's medical chart—not insurance claims—and is based on 30-day patient outcomes.

"ACS programs have been proven to increase quality in trauma and cancer care, bariatric surgery, and in overall surgical care. The underpinning of our programs, and what makes them most effective, is based on four principles: set the standards, build the right infrastructure, use the right data and verify with outside experts," said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. "Verifying quality results through a third-party is particularly important in today's transparent health care marketplace because it reassures the public that what they are promised is what they are getting."

"In addition to quality improvement programs, hospitals have been implementing crew resource management to help create a team approach to patient safety and the very best patient care and outcomes loyalty. These programs have been used to improve physician engagement and have provided a significant return on investment for hospitals in preventing patient harm events," said co-host Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, FACS, chief quality and patient safety officer; associate dean for clinical affairs, quality and patient safety; cardiothoracic surgeon; associate professor of surgery, division of thoracic surgery, department of surgery, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

ACS has hosted the community forums since launching its Inspiring Quality initiative in 2011. The full video of the Ohio forum will be available at InspiringQuality.facs.org and on the College's YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.

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SOURCE American College of Surgeons

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