AU Health one of 3 Georgia hospitals to receive national recognition for surgical patient care

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Written by Lisa Kaylor

AU Medical Center is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and achieved the distinction based on outstanding performance across eight clinical areas.

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQUIP) has recognized AU Medical Center as one of 90 ACS NSQIP participating hospitals that have achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2020. As a participant in ACS NSQIP, AU Medical Center is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that assess patient safety and can be used to direct improvement in the of quality of surgical care.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score in either an “All Cases” category or a category which includes only “High Risk” cases. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2021 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2020 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes. AU Medical Center has been recognized on the “High Risk” Meritorious list.

Each composite score was determined through a different weighted formula combining eight outcomes. The outcomes performances related to patient management were in the following eight clinical areas: mortality, unplanned intubation, ventilator > 48 hours, renal failure, cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction), respiratory (pneumonia), SSI (surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSIs) or urinary tract infection.

The 90 commended hospitals achieved the distinction based on their outstanding composite quality score across the eight areas listed above. Seventy-one hospitals were initially recognized on the “All Cases” list and 71 hospitals were initially recognized on the “High Risk” list; the 71 hospitals represent approximately 10 percent of the 706 calendar-year 2020 ASC NSQIP hospitals. Fifty-two hospitals are recognized on both the “All Cases” and “High Risk” lists, 19 other hospitals are on just the “All Cases” list, and 19 other hospitals are on the “High Risk” list only – yielding 90 hospitals in total.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively as well as risk adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels. The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the “best scientific evidence” to the practice of surgery. Furthermore, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in health care costs follows. ACS NSQIP is a major program of the American College of of Surgeons and is currently used in nearly 850 adult and pediatric hospitals.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and it is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.


About the author

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Lisa Kaylor

Lisa Kaylor is the Lead Communications and Media Coordinator for AU Health. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-5292 or