Purpose: Minimization of postoperative complications is important in patients with cancer. We wished to improve compliance with anesthesiology quality measures through staff education reinforced with automated monthly feedback.
Methods: The anesthesiology department implemented a program to capture and report quality metrics. After staff education, monthly e-mail reports were sent to each anesthesiology physician and nurse anesthetist to detail individual compliance rates for a set of quality measures. For each measure, the proportion of patient cases that passed the measure before and after implementation of the program was compared using a two-sample proportion test.
Results: After exclusions, we analyzed 15 of 23 quality measures. Of the 15 measures, 11 were process measures, and four were outcome measures. Of the 11 process measures, seven demonstrated statistically significant improvements (P < .01). The most improved measure was TEMP-02 (core temperature measurement), which increased from 69.6% to 85.7% (16.1% difference; P < .001). Also improved were PUL-02 (low tidal volume, less than 8 mL/kg ideal body weight; 15.4% difference; P < .001) and NMB-01 (train of four taken; 12.2% difference; P < .001). The outcome measure TEMP-03 (perioperative temperature management) had a statistically significant increase of a small magnitude (0.2% difference; P < .001). No other outcome measures showed statistically significant improvement.
Conclusion: After implementation of a comprehensive quality improvement program, our group observed significant improvements in anesthesia quality measure compliance for several process measures. Future work is needed to determine if this initial success can be preserved and associated with improved outcomes.