Thursday, December 18, 2014

GRHealth enrolls in national surgery improvement program

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents Health System is working to make surgery safer for patients by participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, the first nationally validated, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care in hospitals. GRHealth joins 12 Georgia hospitals and 538 worldwide in the ACS NSQIP program.

ACS-NSQIP-Participant-for-Web“Every one of our patients deserves the best surgical care possible, and the ACS program has been shown to save lives and reduce complications,” said Dr. Charles Howell, Chief of Surgery at Georgia Regents Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Georgia.  “Through this quality and safety initiative, we can compare notes with other leading hospitals around the country to determine new ways to help our patients get the best results.”

A 2009 study published in the Annals of Surgery reported that each year a hospital participates in ACS NSQIP, it has the opportunity to reduce the number of complications by as many as 500 and save dozens of lives. Additionally, the program has been named “Best in the Nation” for surgical quality by the Institute of Medicine.

ACS NSQIP was launched in 2001 and uses a 30-day, risk-adjusted surgical outcomes data collection process that enables valid benchmarking and promotes data-sharing and evidence-based improvements among participating hospitals. The program will help Georgia Regents track surgical patient outcomes in more than 40 key areas, including five that are endorsed by the National Quality Forum – a national voluntary consensus standards-setting organization that works to improve the quality of American health care.

Those five measures are elderly patient outcomes, colectomy outcomes, surgical site infections, lower-extremity bypass outcomes, and urinary tract infections. Some of these measures, such as surgical site infections, also are tracked after patients are discharged from the hospital.

“As medical professionals, we know that the best way to deliver superior care is to participate in a scientifically-based program to measure, study, and improve care.  We applaud Georgia Regents Health System for being among the leaders in this national effort,” said Dr. Clifford Y. Ko, Director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care for the American College of Surgeons.

More information about the surgical improvement program can be found at

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 to improve the care of the surgical patient.  For nearly 100 years, ACS has led national and international initiatives to improve quality in hospitals as well as the more specific fields of trauma, cancer, and surgical quality. These initiatives have been shown to measurably improve the quality of care, prevent complications, reduce costs, and save lives.  The College has more than 78,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.  For more information about the ACS, please visit

About Georgia Regents Medical Center
Georgia Regents Medical Center is a not-for-profit corporation in Augusta, Ga., that provides clinical operations as a cooperative organization for Georgia Regents University. The 478-bed Medical Center includes a Level I trauma center; 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care; and multiple outpatient clinics. GRU physicians are consistently ranked among America’s Top Doctors® and Best Doctors in America®. Visit

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