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

ACS Urges Hospitals to Enroll Now in AHRQ Improving Surgical Care and Recovery Program

Improving Surgical Care and Recovery

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has issued a national call for interested hospitals to join the third cohort of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery (ISCR).

Funding and guidance from AHRQ allows hospitals across the U.S. to implement enhanced recovery pathways, which have been shown to improve safety, shorten recovery times, and reduce length of stay for surgical patients. The AHRQ ISCR program, launched in the fall of 2016, seeks to improve surgical patient outcomes by increasing the implementation of enhanced recovery practices in participating hospitals through the use of an adaption of AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), a well-known model for sustainable safety improvement that has been associated with preventing patient harm in multiple areas.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to pull all of our learnings in surgical improvement together to accelerate improvement across the country,” said Elizabeth C. Wick, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery, University of California, San Francisco, and co-principal investigator of the AHRQ ISCR Program.

Since the start of the first cohort in July 2017, the AHRQ ISCR program has actively supported participants in implementing evidence-based surgical care. The initial cohort focused on colorectal surgery, and the second cohort expanded the work to include total joint replacement and hip fracture surgery. A third cohort is set to start March 1, 2019, with a focus on gynecologic surgery, but hospitals can still join and work on colorectal, total joint replacement, and hip fracture pathways.

Participating hospitals receive a ready-to-use pathway, access to educational materials on how to implement the pathway, access to experts in performance improvement and education who will help them troubleshoot as they implement, and inclusion in a community of surgeons and clinicians rolling out the same pathway.

Hospitals interested in joining the third cohort can initiate the process now in order to have sufficient time to enroll by March 1. To enroll, visit the ISCR portal.

For more information, read the ACS press release or contact

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