UTMC ranks highly in surgical care measurements

June 28, 2010 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The University of Toledo Medical Center’s surgical care measurements have never been better.

UTMC, along with most other hospitals in the country, documents and reports a series of measures related to care before and after surgery. Those overall core measurements in the Surgical Care Improvement Project are all at target, with a number of them at 100 percent.

“The data shows we are among the top performing hospitals in the United States,” said Dr. Ronald McGinnis, UT associate dean for clinical affairs and UTMC medical director. “You can be assured of quality care taking place here, and we have the measurements to show it does.”

Measurements include providing the right antibiotics at the right time before surgery, maintaining a patient’s temperature, taking measures to avoid clots, and more.

Through the implementation of the Surgical Care Improvement Project guidelines, UTMC has improved patient care in a short amount of time. The medical center instituted new forms, held numerous educational sessions and meetings, and began a daily monitoring of these care measures to increase its compliance with guidelines.

For its efforts, UTMC was selected to participate in the University HealthSystem Consortium safety and quality forum this fall in San Diego, where McGinnis will share the hospital’s progress in increasing its ratings on the measurements

Correcting the documentation was a major component of meeting the guidelines. For example, physicians switched several years ago to clipping hair around a surgical site rather than shaving it because it is cleaner and there is less risk for an infection. But sometimes on the charts, the documentation would continue to list that the patient was shaved when actually the hair was clipped, McGinnis said.

“People were getting excellent care before and they are getting excellent care now, but now we are doing a much better job of documenting that care,” McGinnis said.

And as new guidelines have been added, such as removing a urinary catheter within two days of surgery, UTMC has been able to meet the target right off because of its close attention to evidence-based practices, McGinnis said.

In addition to its high scores for the surgical care measurements, UTMC is rated in the top 10 percent of all hospitals with its acute myocardial infarction care measurements. The medical center also is highly ranked on the congestive heart failure and pneumonia measurements, McGinnis said.

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