College of Surgeons, CDC team up to prevent surgical site infections

May 2, 2012

A recently announced joint strategic partnership between the American College of Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to combine expertise and resources to track, report, and prevent surgical-site infections (SSIs) and other adverse outcomes among surgical patients.

A recently announced joint strategic partnership between the American College of Surgeons and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to combine expertise and resources to track, report, and prevent surgical-site infections (SSIs) and other adverse outcomes among surgical patients.

The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) and the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Health Care Quality Promotion (DHQP), will form a working group to jointly develop and maintain measures of SSIs and infectious and noninfectious complications that affect surgical patients.

"Partnering with the CDC speaks to our shared commitment to surgical patient safety, preventing complications, and lowering costs," said David B. Hoyt, MD, of the ACS.

"This partnership will help close gaps that exist between direct patient care and public health," said Daniel Pollock, MD, of the CDC’s DHQP. "Bringing clinicians, surveillance experts, and prevention leaders to the same table will help ensure we collect the right data in the right way so that patient safety can be maximized."

The announcement of the ACS-CDC collaboration comes on the heels of the National Quality Forum endorsing two outcomes-based measures from ACS NSQIP earlier this year. The two measures, surgical-site infection and urinary tract infection, were developed by ACS with input from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and CDC as possible national outcome measures that could be adopted by CMS as early as 2015. Five ACS NSQIP outcomes-based measures are now endorsed by NQF. Other endorsed measures include elderly surgery outcomes, colectomy outcomes, and lower-extremity vascular bypass outcomes.

An initial 3-year period has been identified for the ACS-CDC collaboration to address surgical patient safety problems caused by SSIs and other infectious and noninfectious complications.

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