The American College of Surgeons claims that by implementing its National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, individual hospitals can prevent 250 to 500 complications, save 12 to 36 lives, and reduce costs by millions of dollars annually.
But a new report posted on the JAMA Surgery website concluded that outcomes data in the NSQIP registry were unreliable measures of hospital performance.
In a National Institutes of Health-funded study, researchers—led by surgeons from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor—examined 2009 NSQIP complication and mortality data for six common surgical procedures performed on 55,466 patients at 199 hospitals. Few hospitals met data thresholds for “reliability,” defined as quantifying “the proportion of provider performance variation explained by true quality differences,” they found.
“As quality measurement platforms are increasingly used for public reporting and value-based purchasing, it has never been more important to have reliable performance measures,” wrote lead author Dr. Robert Krell and his colleagues. “We have demonstrated that commonly used outcome measures have low reliability for hospital profiling for a diverse range of procedures.”
The procedures studied were colon resection, pancreatic resection, laparoscopic gastric bypass, ventral hernia repair, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and lower extremity bypass.