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Guide to Statistics and Methods
August 2018

Practical Guide to Surgical Data Sets: Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas
  • 2Division of Surgical Oncology, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor, University of California in Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • 4Statistical Editor, JAMA Surgery
  • 5Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 6Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 7Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(8):768-769. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.0504

Since the early 1990s, Veterans Affairs (VA) has been at the vanguard of national efforts to measure hospital-level performance and ensure quality care for veterans. In response to a congressional mandate that “the VA should report its surgical outcomes in comparison to the national average…with risk adjustment,” the initial VA National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) was created to accurately collect clinical data using standardized methodology and incorporating robust risk adjustment.1 Renamed the VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) after merging the cardiac and noncardiac surgery components of NSQIP, this mandatory, VA-wide program has remained a model for national quality improvement (QI) efforts and was the template used to develop the private sector American College of Surgeons–NSQIP.

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