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

Program Options

Studies show the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® (ACS NSQIP®) helps hospitals of all types—urban and rural, large and small, teaching and non-teaching—improve care.1 To tailor the program further to specific hospital type, sizes, and quality improvement goals, ACS NSQIP developed five program options. Program options provide data collection, risk-adjustment, and national benchmarking for all hospitals. In addition, ACS developed a Surgical Clinical Reviewer (SCR) calculator that calculates your hospital’s additional staffing needs, required annual case volume, and number of cases to collect per cycle based on your hospital’s annual case volume and the program option you choose.

A few questions to ask yourself when selecting an option include:

  • What is the size of your organization and how many surgical cases does it perform annually?
  • Is your hospital able to accommodate more than one full-time SCR?
  • Do you regularly perform high-risk procedures?
  • Does your hospital want to collect additional data for research purposes?
  • Do you perform pediatric operations?

Option Summary


Small & Rural

Procedure Targeted


Best suited for hospitals that

Want to collect only data applicable for quality improvement (QI) purposes

Perform fewer than 1,680 cases per year or meet the RUCA definition of rural hospital

Are larger and would like to focus QI efforts on specific higher-risk procedures selected by the hospitals

Want to measure the quality of children’s surgical care

Approximate number of variables collected

About 50 clinical variables

About 50 clinical variables

About 50 clinical variables plus procedure-specific variables

About 80 clinical variables

Number of cases collected

1,680 cases per year (all cases collected if fewer than 1,680)

Maximum of 1,680 per year

Minimum of 1,680 cases per year

1,400 cases per year


1 full-time SCR minimum

¼ FTE for up to 400 cases
½ FTE for 800 cases
¾ FTE for 1,200 cases
1 FTE for 1,680 cases

1 full-time SCR minimum

1 full-time SCR

Click on a program option below for more detailed information.

1. Hall BL, et al. “Does surgical quality improve in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP)?” Annuals or Surgery. 250(3):363-376; Sept., 2009.