Hospitals reduce surgical complications by sharing best practices

Hospitals in Michigan were able to reduce surgical complications by 10% when they collaborated and shared best practices to keeping patients safe, according to a study in the Archives of Surgery.

For the study, researchers examined data from patients undergoing general and vascular surgical procedures in 16 hospitals involved in the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC), who met quarterly to discuss surgical quality, to identify best practices, and to assess problems with process implementation.

Complications reduced the most were blood infections, septic shock, prolonged ventilator use and cardiac arrest, according to the study.

The authors conclude that establishing a statewide surgical quality improvement collaborative could improve quality, reduce cost and improve patient satisfaction.

(Sources: Archives of Surgery, http://archsurg.ama-assn.org, October, 2010; HealthDay News, http://consumer.healthday.com, October 18, 2010)