Department of Surgery
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Surgical performance improvement

Each day in a hospital, staff members undertake complicated tasks caring for patients undergoing surgery. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s patient safety efforts aim to ensure that all of these steps work together to deliver high-quality, compassionate care to all surgical patients across our health system.

In 2013, Sunnybrook joined the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). Different surgical sub-specialties such as general surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, orthopaedic surgery, urology, gynaecology, oncology and plastic surgery are part of this program in our institution. This program uses clinical data to understand and identify opportunities for improvement in these areas. It allows us to compare our practices and outcome with 560 other hospitals across North America. As part of this program, patients may be contacted after their surgery for a follow-up so that we can work together to improve the care we provide.

Since 2015, this program has been supported by Health Quality Ontario (HQO), which allows all participating hospitals in the province to collaborate and share their best practices. Now these hospitals can benchmark their surgical outcomes and contribute to the comparison of outcomes across Ontario and also empower one another to implement quality improvement initiatives.

A sister program to NSQIP, the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) is being used to improve trauma care provided at Sunnybrook. Also, in 2015, we joined the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) registry through Cardiac Care Network (CCN) in order to further monitor and improve our cardiac surgery outcomes. While we are working towards improvement in all surgical areas, we understand the importance of data and benchmarked outcome that can help us establish long-term and meaningful quality improvement goals. As a result, our Ross Tilley Burn Centre is joining a Burn Quality Improvement Program (BQIP) being led by the American Burn Association (ABA).

It is proven that hospitals participating in quality improvement programs deliver better patient outcomes, shortened hospital-stays, and between 250 to 500 fewer surgical complications per year.

Our team:

Each registry team is comprised of a surgeon champion, a surgical performance improvement specialist, and surgical clinical reviewer(s) who work closely to ensure the quality of data being collected are met and actions are taken when improvement opportunities are identified.