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Measurement and comparison against national benchmarks such as NSQIP directly translates to better outcomes for our patients.

The Department of Surgery at Danbury Hospital has a self-directed mandate for quality improvement. To drive this continuous process of improvement, Danbury Hospital signed on to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in 2005.

NSQIP’s data collection protocols are a dynamic tool by which we can accurately and objectively assess our performance in 136 areas of surgical safety and compare the risk-adjusted results with those of other participating hospitals. Using this data, which is submitted quarterly, we continuously track our outcomes and initiate performance improvement actions if necessary. The results have been outstanding, as evidenced by Danbury Hospital being named as one of 25 participating hospitals nationwide to achieve “exemplary” outcomes nationwide in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Quality improvement must be a continuous process as medical and surgical knowledge advance. In July 2010, our faculty presented three NSQIP podium and poster presentations at the ACS/NSQIP national conference. Each of the submissions reported on an in-house performance improvement study and project which led to implementation of best practices. This led to improvements in patient care, safety, and outcomes.

One presentation reported on a new algorithm to promote rapid identification of visceral perforations in the emergency room which decreased mortality.

The second presentation reported on an initiative to decrease the incidence of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia (IPH), which resulted in the implementation of a sustainable practice change that was effective in preventing IPH.

The final presentation, developed by one of the third-year surgical residents as a component of his research work, was entitled “Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prevention through the Application of Evidence Based Practice.” The research reviewed the incidence of venous thromboembolisms and their occurrence prior to implementation of a modified VTE risk tool.

Fukumoto R, Morales C, Volpe A, Saldinger PF. Failure to recognize and rescue: Accelerated acute abdomen algorithm. 2011 Annual ACS NSQIP National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

Volpe A, Serrins MJ, Saldinger PF. Decreasing the incidence of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia: A quality improvement study. 2011 Annual ACS NSQIP National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

Morales C, Plummer D, Volpe A, Saldinger PF. VTE prevention through the application of evidence-based practice. 2011 Annual ACS NSQIP National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

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