Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) is one of 34 hospitals in Ontario participating in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP).
OTMH joined the program in April of 2015 with a specialized focus on reducing the incidence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) following surgical procedures.
As an outcomes-based, peer-controlled program, the NSQIP measures the quality of surgical care by evaluating the recovery and overall health of randomly selected patients 30 days post-surgery. The data collected at this time is evaluated alongside that which was collected over the course of the patient’s hospital stay. Evaluating patients after this time period is important as 50 per cent of surgery-related complications occur post-discharge.
Identifying patterns in the incidence of UTIs and SSIs will help OTMH to make changes to improve the quality of care provided to surgical patients and reduce the risk of complications. Gathering and assessing data over the course of the surgical process from the time of admission to 30 days post-op will allow any deficiencies to be pinpointed and flagged for further evaluation and correction. With the support of NSQIP, OTMH can implement quality improvement initiatives where necessary.
The NSQIP is supported by the Ontario Association of General Surgeons and Health Quality Ontario and sets benchmarks for a variety of complications (including UTIs and SSIs) as a point of comparison for all participating sites. Having a benchmark allows OTMH to compare its results with other NSQIP participants and both share and receive knowledge and best practices on the program’s online database. The collaborative nature of the NSQIP helps all participating sites improve the quality of patient care and reduce the risk of complications. The database also allows for the creation of common improvement goals.
OTMH has set a target of 40 per cent reduction in Catheter-Associated UTI rates in OTMH surgery patients between October 1 2015 and September 30 2016. A target of 40 per cent reduction in SSI rates has also been set for the same timeframe. Following this period, results will be compiled, evaluated and released.
The NSQIP debuted in the 1980s in Veterans Affairs hospitals and has since been adopted, modified and developed by the American College of Surgeons. The implementation of the program in various healthcare facilities has consistently led to fewer complications and improvements in morbidity and mortality. Shorter stay times are another benefit of the program which, in turn, lead to reduced costs.