ACS national surgical quality improvement program: targeting quality improvement in Canadian pediatric surgery

J Pediatr Surg. 2014 May;49(5):682-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.02.047. Epub 2014 Feb 22.


Purpose: The pediatric NSQIP program is in the early stages of facilitated surgical quality improvement for children. The objective of this study is to describe the initial experience of the first Canadian Children's Hospital participant in this program.

Method: Randomly sampled surgical cases from the "included" case list were abstracted into the ACS-NSQIP database. These surgical procedure-specific data incorporate patient risk factors, intraoperative details, and 30 day outcomes to generate annual reports which provide hierarchical ranking of participant hospitals according to their risk-adjusted outcomes.

Results: Our first risk-adjusted report identified local improvement opportunities based on our rates of surgical site infection (SSI) and urinary tract infection (UTI). We developed and implemented an engagement strategy for our stakeholders, performed literature reviews to identify practice variation, and conducted case control studies to understand local risk factors for our SSI/UTI occurrences. We have begun quality improvement activities targeting reduction in rates of SSI and UTI with our general surgery division and ward nurses, respectively.

Conclusions: The NSQIP pediatric program provides high quality outcome data that can be used in support of quality improvement. This process requires multidisciplinary teamwork, systematic stakeholder engagement, clinical research methods and process improvement through engagement and culture change.

Keywords: Complications; NSQIP; Risk-adjusted outcomes; Surgical quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Appendectomy / adverse effects
  • Canada
  • Communication
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / standards*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Risk Factors
  • Specialties, Surgical / standards*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control