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 has a 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 chief of Surgery at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital serves as the Surgeon Lead for the Collaborative.

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

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

SCSQC member facilities improved outcomes in 15 of 16 quality measures over the two-year period of the initiative.

The study concludes that the SCSQC empowers providers with the data resources they need to improve the quality and value of surgical care for South Carolinians.

“It has been really encouraging to see surgical leaders from facilities that normally compete with each other get in a room and work together to figure out how to provide better care for patients,” said Lockett.

“SCSQC provides a mechanism by which we can obtain better outcomes by providing actionable and believable data and facilitating collaboration between surgical leaders across the state.”

The SCSQC is also Committed to shaping the next generation of surgical leaders.Both MUSC Health and Spartanburg Regional Health System’s residency programs are involved in the Collaborative. They send residents to quarterly meetings and residents are involved in each site’s QI projects.The data abstraction system records which residents are involved 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.