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By Lori Newman
Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Brooke Army Medical Center has received highest marks for surgery and post-surgical care, according to a recent report from the American College of Surgeons.
The report is issued by ACS’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, or NSQIP, a voluntary program that gauges the quality of surgical programs across the nation. NSQIP is the largest and most comprehensive database comparing surgical outcomes across the globe. The aim is to help surgeons better understand their quality of care compared to similar hospitals with similar patients, according to the program’s website. While the program is voluntary, the Department of Defense requires all military hospitals to participate in NSQIP.
ACS analyzes rates of death after surgery (mortality) and complications from surgery (morbidity), such as pneumonia, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, sepsis and readmissions. This benefits patients because the results are used by surgeons and hospitals to improve care, which leads to fewer complications, better outcomes and shorter hospital stays.
BAMC achieved an exemplary rating in 12 surgical areas and the best possible rating for mortality after surgery.
“More than 800 hospitals participate in this data-collecting program,” said Army Lt. Col. Alex Mckinlay, staff otolaryngologist and NSQIP surgeon champion. “We are in the top 10 percent when it comes to our patients’ survival rate after surgery. This is a gigantic accomplishment for our surgical department.”
“We are also part of a DOD and Army collaborative that gives us data comparing BAMC to all the other hospitals within the DOD and the Army,” added Army Maj. George Kallingal, urologic oncologist and NSQIP surgeon champion. “BAMC ranks number one in mortality for both the Army and the DOD.”
BAMC has two surgeon champions to oversee the program’s implementation, but many personnel are involved in the data collection process and quality improvement initiatives.
The report also places BAMC in the upper half of hundreds of esteemed hospitals throughout the nation when looking at complications after surgery.
“There is a large contingent of surgeons and professionals within the hospital who are devoted to quality improvement,” Mckinlay said. “One way we use NSQIP is to better target the areas we can improve. We feel it is important for our patients to know of our continued effort and energy that goes into improving the quality of care we deliver.”
“Both the acuity and the complexity of surgical cases performed at BAMC are comparable to the leading hospitals throughout the nation,” Mckinlay said. “The results of this report tell our patients that they should be confident the care they receive here is top-notch.”