Quality improvement efforts in pediatric surgery can positively impact both outcomes and cost.
The use of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)–Pediatrics was essential in determining where to focus our efforts.
Utilizing risk-adjusted outcomes data is the key driver behind our successes as a multidisciplinary team. This team, which now includes a parent representative, meets at least monthly to review data, identify trends and problems, propose new change ideas, identify barriers to change, and celebrate success. Detailed agendas and minutes are circulated to all team members to ensure a shared mental model.
Since initiation in 2011, our efforts have resulted in a decrease in multiple morbidities, including surgical site infections, blood transfusions, preoperative Computerized Tomography use for patients undergoing appendectomy, unplanned reintubations, shorter lengths of stay, and fewer readmissions. Our improvement efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million over a 2-year period (2015–2016).
Our team used NSQIP data to direct and guide quality improvements in patient care.
The business case for surgical quality comes from getting a return on investment in NSQIP with multidisciplinary teams led by surgeons and nurses.