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BAMC receives national recognition for surgical quality

By Lori Newman | Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | Oct. 26, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston was recognized by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, or NSQIP, for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care.

"BAMC and 34 other military hospitals participate in NSQIP to give us accurate information on how we are doing, benchmarked against the 680 other hospitals that participate," said Army Lt. Col. George Kallingal, urologic oncologist and NSQIP surgeon champion. "BAMC is the flagship of military medicine and performs the most complex surgeries in the military."

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, BAMC is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that directs patient safety and the quality of surgical care improvements.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a composite meritorious outcome related to patient management in eight clinical areas: mortality, unplanned intubation, prolonged ventilator use, renal failure, cardiac incidents including cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction; respiratory illness such as pneumonia; surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space; or urinary tract infection.

"Achieving meritorious recognition means that BAMC ranks in the top 10 percent of over 600 hospitals on this composite surgical quality score," Kallingal said. "This should give our patients comfort and optimism that the surgical care they receive at BAMC is among the highest quality in the nation."

"It also underscores that the entire medical center is aligned to help patients have the best surgical experience possible, from the moment they get to the parking lot, to the time they follow-up after their surgery," Kallingal added.

Kallingal said it reflects the outstanding care of the entire system, from nursing, surgical and anesthesia care to administration, facilities management, information technology and others as well as demonstrating BAMC's ability to recognize system flaws and implement hospital-wide improvement.

The 66 hospitals commended achieved the distinction based on their outstanding composite quality score across the eight areas listed above. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2017 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2016 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively as well as risk adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels.

The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the "best scientific evidence" to the practice of surgery. Furthermore, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in health care costs follows.

"This national recognition is a testament that BAMC cares about the quality of care we provide and about quality patient outcomes," Kallingal said.