American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Surgical Quality Alliance Reporting Resource

New guidance document will assist organizations reporting on surgical quality from the patient, provider, payor, and purchaser perspective


WASHINGTON, DC (February 3, 2014): The Surgical Quality Alliance (SQA), in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has released Surgery & Public Reporting: Recommendations for Issuing Public Reports on Surgical Care. This resource document is intended to provide organizations that publicly report on surgical quality measures with a better understanding of the considerations that must be made when reporting on these important aspects of surgical care.

This multifaceted document addresses issues that surgical teams should take into account when defining specialty ­specific reporting metrics and highlights the tenet that surgical specialists, in consultation with their patients, are uniquely qualified to provide input on quality measurement and defining clinical excellence in surgery.

The ACS views the release of the report as an important component of its Inspiring Quality initiative that was launched in 2011 to drive awareness of proven models of care developed by ACS that measure and improve quality and increase the value of health care services.

“A key component of improving the quality of care provided in our nation’s health care system hinges on transparency and accountability,” said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. “This document is an important step in ensuring that reports, which are made available for public use, incorporate the nuances of surgical care and, more importantly, promote the concept that the information in the reports is important and understandable to our patients.”

While other recommendations are available regarding best practices in public reporting of quality measurement, this new document is the first report of its kind to be issued by surgical associations with a focus on public reporting of surgical care.

“A guidance document of this magnitude can carry significant weight with health care organizations,” said SQA chair Frank Opelka, MD, FACS. “We’re issuing this report in an era when federal legislation now mandates that components of care be measured and publicly reported. Many organizations are just beginning to explore how to specifically report on surgical care. This document is designed to directly provide guidance on those organizational efforts, not just so that they comply with federal requirements, but so we can collectively ensure the information that patients want and need about their surgeons is available to them.”

The Surgery & Public Reporting: Recommendations for Issuing Public Reports on Surgical Care also addresses the importance of coordinated teamwork in clinical care. This effort involves team-based surgical care that is safe, effective, and efficient. The document stresses that public reports about the quality of care should follow not only individual surgeons, but should be based on the reality of how care is delivered, and follow the teams of providers that deliver care.

The document is available online at:

In addition to the ACS, the SQA members who participated in the development of this document are:

American College of Surgeons
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons
American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
American Pediatric Surgical Association
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Breast Surgeons
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
American Urogynecologic Society
American Urological Association
Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Society for Vascular Surgery
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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About the Surgical Quality Alliance

The Surgical Quality Alliance (SQA) is a collaborative effort of more than 20 surgical and anesthesia specialty societies united to define the principles of surgical quality measures, collaborate in the development of meaningful tools for quality improvement, and provide a forum for shared and coordinated effort among the specialties to monitor and respond to Federal and private sector initiatives.

About the American College of Surgeons

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 improve the quality of care for surgical patients. 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 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit


Sally Garneski
Dan Hamilton