PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Recognized for Surgical Quality


P​eaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center was recently recognized as one of 37 hospitals that achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care for 2012.

The national recognition places PeaceHealth Sacred Heart in the top 10 percent of hospitals that participate in the respected American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). A total of 374 hospitals submitted data for 2012, including institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins.

"I am very proud of this award," said David DeHaas, MD, Medical Director for Surgery at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center. "The NSQIP program has become a very respected database for quality improvement within the field of surgery, and many prestigious medical centers are utilizing significant resources to improve their performance on the NSQIP metrics."

Surgeons performed a total of 15,272 procedures at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart during the time period in question (calendar year 2012). That number includes 9,637 inpatient and 5,635 outpatient procedures. Besides the obvious patient benefits, better outcomes also mean lower health care costs. When adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced or eliminated, health care costs also decline.

"We have already seen enormous cost-of-care savings based on decreased length of stay for our surgical patients, decrease in the number of surgical site infections, and overall reduction in our post-operative complication rates," Dr. DeHaas said. "We have only begun to scratch the surface on the quality improvement results we can achieve as the institution and PeaceHealth system remain committed to these measures."

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart tracks the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collects data to inform patient safety and surgical care improvements. The hospital's Surgical Quality Team uses the data to identify opportunities for improvement throughout the continuum of care, from pre-admission activities through surgery and discharge.

The goal is to decrease length of stay, reduce complications and reduce costs for surgical patients so they can return to work and normal life activities sooner.

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart is among several hospitals in the state that participate in the Oregon ACS NSQIP Consortium, whose members meet regularly to review Oregon's aggregate NSQIP data, identify emerging best practices and develop strategies for improvement. Formed in 2007, the consortium also works with Oregon's Patient Safety Commission to offer new ideas about the next generation of surgical improvement initiatives.

In assessing hospital performance, ACS NSQIP looked at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart's performance in nine critical areas:
  1. Percent of surgery patients who died within 30 days after surgery
  2. Percent of surgery patients who had to be reintubated unexpectedly during the post-operative period
  3. Percent of patients who were on a ventilator longer than 48 hours
  4. Percent of patients who experienced kidney failure during or after surgery
  5. Percent of patients who experienced deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the deep veins of the body, typically the legs) or pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung) after surgery
  6. Percent of patients who experienced cardiac complications within 30 days after surgery
  7. Percent of patients who contracted pneumonia as a complication of their surgical care
  8. Percent of patients who experienced a surgical site infection within 30 days after surgery
  9. Percent of patients who experienced a urinary tract infection as a complication of surgery
ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. The program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively, and adjusts ratings to take into account any differences among hospitals in the difficulty of surgeries they attempt and how sick their patients were at the time of surgery.

ACS NSQIP works to reduce surgical morbidity (infections or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure). This information provides a firm foundation for surgeons and hospitals to apply best practices to surgery.