UCI Health honored for surgical safety and excellence

Recognized for meritorious outcomes by the American College of Surgeons

November 04, 2022
UCI Health Chief Medical Officer Joseph C. Carmichael, MD.

UCI Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph C. Carmichael said the American College of Surgeons award is a testament to the ”outstanding surgeons, nurses, perioperative care staff and quality team members who made this happen.”

Orange, Calif. — The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP®) has again recognized UCI Medical Center as one of 78 participating hospitals to achieve meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care.

Hospitals participating in the ACS NSQIP program are required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect patient safety data that can be used to direct improvement in the quality of surgical care.

The NSQIP recognition program highlights a select group of hospitals for achieving an outstanding composite score in either the category “all cases” or only in “high risk” cases. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2022 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2021 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated "meritorious outcomes." UCI Medical Center, the primary clinical site for UCI Health, is listed among both the “all cases” and “high risk” meritorious hospitals.

“This recognition from the American College of Surgeons reflects the outstanding surgeons, nurses, perioperative care staff and quality team members who made this happen,” said Joseph C. Carmichael, MD, chief medical officer for UCI Health. “These two meritorious awards are composite quality scores that reflect the daily commitment to excellence and patient safety across all of our surgical specialties. This is a fantastic achievement and a tremendous honor to again be recognized.”

Each composite score is determined through weighted formulas combining eight patient management outcomes: mortality, unplanned intubation, ventilator use for more than 48 hours, renal failure, cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction), respiratory (pneumonia), SSI (surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSIs), or urinary tract infection. 

The 78 commended hospitals among 607 applicants achieved the distinction based on their outstanding composite quality score across the eight areas listed above. Sixty-one hospitals were initially recognized on the “all cases” list. UCI Medical Center is one of 40 hospitals recognized on both the “all cases” and “high risk” lists. Among those centers, only 24 have achieved this distinction for two or more consecutive years. In California, UCI Health was one of only four and the only academic medical center.

UCI Medical Center was first recognized in 2017, for achieving outstanding outcomes for surgical patient care in its composite high-risk quality score. UCI Health was again recognized as an ACS Meritorious Hospital for excellent quality scores in both categories in 2019, 2020 and now in 2022.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that tracks and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively as well as adjusting risk based on patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels.

The goal of the ACS NSQIP program is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure). It also provides a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the “best scientific evidence” to the practice of surgery. Furthermore, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in health care costs follows. ACS NSQIP is currently used in nearly 850 adult and pediatric U.S. hospitals.

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 22 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the patient care. ACS is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. ACS, with more than 84,000 members, is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.