Patient Quality, Safety and Cost Conferences

Patient safety and quality are assuming increasing importance in our day-to-day practice. The overall healthcare environment is now focused intensely on the quality and safety of health care delivery. The performance of physicians and hospitals are assessed based on numerous quality and safety metrics such as length of stay, readmission rates, mortality and morbidity. Reimbursements are tied to the level of adherence to these quality and safety metrics.

The cost of healthcare has been a major concern for every involved party in the U.S. The current trajectory of healthcare costs is unsustainable and will have detrimental effects on the overall U.S economy. Attempts to control the costs of healthcare delivery in the U.S are now being implemented on an incremental basis. It is again likely that they will have a significant impact on our practice.

The General surgery residency program introduced the Patient Safety, Quality and Cost curriculum in 2012. The aim of this curriculum is to make the residents aware of all the metrics that are used to assess physician performance. This curriculum will acquaint residents to the real life environment that they will be entering upon graduation.

This curriculum consists of identifying a patient and going over all the patient safety, quality metrics as deemed necessary by the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) etc. The resident will also analyze the costs associated with the delivery of care, identify areas of wasteful spending and determine one avenue to save costs. Every resident presents one case per year. This also satisfies the mandatory ACGME requirement of resident participation in patient safety, quality and cost projects.