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Original Article
October 2010October 18, 2010

Accelerating the Pace of Surgical Quality Improvement: The Power of Hospital Collaboration

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Surgery (Drs Campbell and Englesbe, Mr Kubus, and Ms Phillips) and Family Medicine (Dr Share), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Departments of Surgery, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak (Dr Shanley), Henry Ford Health System, Detroit (Dr Velanovich), St John Hospital and Medical Center, Grosse Pointe (Dr Lloyd), Allegiance Health, Jackson (Dr Hutton), and St Joseph Mercy Health System, Ypsilanti (Dr Arneson), Michigan.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(10):985-991. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.220

Hypothesis  A regional collaborative approach is an efficient platform for surgical quality improvement.

Design  Retrospective cohort study.

Setting  Academic research.

Patients  Patients undergoing general and vascular surgical procedures in 16 hospitals of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC) were evaluated quarterly to discuss surgical quality, to identify best practices, and to assess problems with process implementation.

Main Outcome Measures  Results among MSQC patients were compared with those among 126 non-Michigan hospitals participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) over the same interval.

Results  A total of 315 699 patients were included in the analysis. To assess improvement, patients were stratified into 2 periods (T1 and T2). The 35 422 MSQC patients (10.7% morbidity in T1 vs 9.7% in T2 [9.0% reduction], P = .002) showed improvement, while 280 277 non-Michigan ACS NSQIP patients did not (12.4% morbidity in T1 and T2, P = .49). No improvements in mortality rates were noted in either group. Overall, the odds of experiencing a complication in T2 compared with T1 were significantly less in the MSQC group (odds ratio, 0.898) than in the non-Michigan ACS NSQIP group (odds ratio, 1.000) (P=.004).

Conclusion  A statewide surgical quality improvement collaborative supported by a third-party payer showed significant improvement in quality and high levels of participant satisfaction.