FALLS CHURCH, Virginia —
Readiness in the Military Health System calls for advanced knowledge and skills. Results released Nov. 6, 2019 by the American College of Surgeons recognized 88 U.S. hospitals for "meritorious" surgical patient outcomes. Seven of those 88 hospitals were military, up from four military hospitals the previous year.
Over 700 hospitals were part of the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, or NSQIP, for 2018. All 46 military hospitals in the continental U.S. that engage in inpatient surgery were a part of that number.
“We always have to keep improving when it comes to patient safety and quality,” said Guy Kiyokawa, deputy director of the Defense Health Agency, when asked why the agency takes part in NSQIP.
NSQIP is a program that measures and improves the quality of surgical care in hospitals while reducing complications and costs.
Hospitals that took part had their surgical programs studied by the ACS. The program also guides surgeons to apply the “best scientific evidence” to surgery. NSQIP measures actual surgical results 30 days after a procedure.
Results were mostly positive for the MHS, but some hospitals did better than others. The April 2019 NSQIP Collaborative Report showed that most military hospitals in the program performed between the 70th and 30th percentiles in the nation, with lower numbers being better scores. This places most MHS hospitals in “neutral, well-performing” territory.
“We have a lot of great performers, but we have those that we can improve upon,” Kiyokawa said. “Even though generally we're doing well, one of the other focuses that we're looking at is how do we reduce the variation.”
This year, 88 hospitals reached meritorious distinction based on strong scores. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2019 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report was used to show which hospitals had the best outcomes. Hospitals in the survey were recognized for “high-risk” cases, as well as “all cases.”
The MHS is looking at these high-performing hospitals to make improvements for those doing less well on the survey.
“We have a lot of great organizations out there,” Kiyokawa said. “The next step is discovering how to mine some of those best practices and use them across the enterprise.”
Military hospitals recognized on the “all cases” meritorious list include:
Military hospitals recognized on the “high-risk” meritorious list include:
- Brooke Army Medical Center
- Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center
- 81st Medical Group (Keesler)
- Naval Medical Center San Diego
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center