SC Surgical Quality Collaborative Makes Strides

Map of the South Carolina Surgical Quality Collaborative locations
The South Carolina Surgical Quality Collaborative is comprised of eight hospital systems dedicated to improving surgical outcomes.

The South Carolina Surgical Quality Collaborative (SCSQC) is a new regional surgical quality collaborative designed to improve the quality and value of general surgical care in South Carolina. It was modeled after successful Collaboratives in Michigan and Tennessee.Funding is provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation and the Duke Endowment.

SCSQC is led by a leadership team representing the South Carolina Hospital Association, Health Sciences South Carolina, MUSC, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC.

The Collaborative provides surgeons with real-time,risk - adjusted, surgeon –specific data. The data is abstracted from patient charts by trained abstractors utilizing established outcome definitions. The risk-adjusted outcomes are then utilized to guide Quality Improvement(QI) efforts at member hospitals and across the Collaborative as a whole.

Each participating site hasa surgeon lead and a data abstractor who are responsible for leading site-specific QI projects.Conference calls and quarterly face-to-face meetings are used to facilitate QI projects and speed the implementation of best practices.

Mark Lockett, M.D., vice chair of Veterans Affairs and chiefof Surgery at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital serves as theSurgeon Lead for the Collaborative.

As published in the June 2018 American Surgeon, theCollaborative is built on the principle that highly reliable,actionable data can impact surgical outcomes.

This study was a retrospective observational analysis whichshowed outcome rates for select general surgery proceduresacross the eight hospitals involved in the SCSQC. Facilitiescollected data from 15,978 general surgical cases.

SCSQCmember facilities improved outcomes in 15 of 16 qualitymeasures over the two-year period of the initiative.

The study concludes that the SCSQC empowers providerswith the data resources they need to improve the quality andvalue of surgical care for South Carolinians.

“It has been really encouraging to see surgical leaders fromfacilities that normallycompete with each other getin a room and work togetherto figure out how to providebetter care for patients,” saidLockett.

“SCSQC provides amechanism by which we canobtain better outcomes byproviding actionable andbelievable data and facilitatingcollaboration between surgicalleaders across the state.”

The SCSQC is alsocommitted to shaping thenext generation of surgicalleaders.Both MUSC Health andSpartanburg Regional Health System’s residency programs areinvolved in the Collaborative. They send residents to quarterlymeetings and residents are involved in each site’s QI projects.The data abstraction system records which residents areinvolved in cases, so they can see their own outcomes.

Training tomorrow’s surgeons to focus on quality and value will help them be leaders when they go out into practice.