ACS, CDC project targets surgical-site infections

April 16, 2012 Modern Physician

By Maureen McKinney

The American College of Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have teamed up on a three-year project that will use health information technology, standardized quality measures and other tools to more effectively target surgical-site infections and related complications.

According to a news release, the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, known as ACS NSQIP, and the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion will form a joint working group tasked with developing new measures “of SSIs and infectious and non-infectious complications that affect surgical patients.”

One of the primary goals of the project will be to harmonize the measures currently in use by ACS NSQIP with those used by the National Healthcare Safety Network, the CDC’s online infection-surveillance system. Hospitals are required by the CMS to use the NHSN to report certain types of infections, including SSIs, in order to receive their full payment update.

The two groups will also focus on ways to leverage electronic health records for infection prevention, ACS said.

“The CDC has tremendous experience with their quality programs, and through ACS, hospitals participating in ACS NSQIP have already shown significant improvement in patient mortality and are preventing 250 complications per hospital, per year,” said Dr. Clifford Ko, director of the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Care, in the release.

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