Published on November 14, 2013 at 8:11 AM
In the Stanford study, hospital readmission and complication rate benchmark data was obtained from one of the precursor programs (ACS Bariatric Surgery Network) to MBSAQIP. Stanford then implemented targeted solutions against each of these benchmarks. For readmissions, patient education and discharge planning were emphasized on a daily basis, direct phone numbers for concerns were provided to patients, a registered nurse called each patient at home the first day after discharge, same day appointments were made available to address patient concerns and a clinical decision unit was utilized for 23-hour stays.
Several process improvements were implemented to reduce surgical-site infections including the postponement of surgery and the referral to an endocrinologist if a patient's HgA1c level, a measure of blood sugar, was greater than 10. In addition, two grams of antibiotics, rather than one, were administered to the patient before the start of surgery.
"The highest quality care in bariatric surgery is occurring at accredited centers," added Dr. Morton, who is also Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. "These centers demonstrate their commitment to quality by constantly evaluating and re-evaluating what they do and how they do it to provide patients the best care possible. MBSAQIP will play a role in helping them do that by providing evidence-based data that they can act upon. The first national quality improvement project for MBSAQIP will be to decrease 30-day readmissions through the DROP (Decreasing Readmissions through Opportunities Provided) program."