The bariatric program at Stanford University saw hospital readmission rates drop by 75 percent and surgical-site infections decline by 60 percent after changes in patient education, discharge planning and pre-operative procedures, according to a new study presented here at the 30th Annual Meeting for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) during ObesityWeek 2013, the largest international event focused on the basic science, clinical application and prevention and treatment of obesity. The event is hosted by the ASMBS and The Obesity Society (TOS).
In 2008, the national benchmark for 30-day readmissions to the hospital after bariatric surgery was 5 percent; readmissions at the Stanford program were 8 percent. By 2012, the readmission rate at Stanford had fallen to 2 percent. Within the same period, the rate of surgical-site infections went from 2.5 percent to 1 percent, the national average.
"The study demonstrates the value of using validated national benchmarking data to identify areas for quality improvement in local bariatric programs," said study author John Morton, MD, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and President-Elect of the ASMBS. "The data prompted us to identify two areas that resulted in improved patient outcomes and a likely reduction in costs. If programs throughout the country focus on the areas where they diverge from the national standard, bariatric and metabolic surgery is likely to see even further improvements in safety and effectiveness."
In January 2014, the ASMBS and American College of Surgeons (ACS) will launch the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), a program that establishes national standards for facilities and surgeons performing bariatric surgery. MBSAQIP calls for a certain level of surgeon experience in terms of the number of procedures performed annually and the submission of patient outcomes data to a national registry, among several other requirements. National benchmarks obtained from the registry will be used as the basis for establishing best practices and recommending quality improvement efforts. More than 700 bariatric programs are already enrolled in MBSAQIP.