Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Institute for Public Health and Medicine

Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative (ISQIC)

November 8, 2013

Due to the considerable morbidity, mortality and costs associated with surgical care, Northwestern’s Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC) has joined forces with the Illinois and Metropolitan Chicago American College of Surgeons chapters, with support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, to coordinate the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative (ISQIC). This unique collaborative seeks to expand upon the surgical quality measurement and improvement methodology of the American College of Surgeon’s National Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) to collect, analyze and report surgical outcomes to nearly 50  participating hospitals in Illinois. ACS NSQIP collects highly standardized, accurate, and audited data to create risk-adjusted benchmark comparison reports on more than 30 postoperative outcomes for each participating hospital. Hospitals can then identify areas of poor performance and target these areas for improvement.  With the ability to view and compare empirical data about hospital performance, hospitals will undertake formal quality improvement (QI) initiatives to increase patient safety.  It is expected that participating hospitals will have significant reductions in complication rates, length of stay, readmission, and deaths, as well as, increased process measure adherence and cost savings.

Through ISQIC, hospitals will work together to improve quality.  Several strategies will be used to develop active and engaged surgical quality improvement programs at each hospital: 

  1. Provide hospitals with financial support to implement a surgical quality improvement program based on ACS NSQIP
  2. Provide experienced surgeon mentors to guide hospitals through all phases of the project
  3. Provide hospitals with a formal training curriculum on ACS NSQIP implementation and quality and process improvement approaches (e.g., DMAIC)
  4. Provide ongoing process and quality improvement coaching to help hospitals act on their ACS NSQIP data
  5. Biannual in-person meetings to share best practices and quality improvement experiences
  6. Offer pilot grants to hospitals who need additional support to implement a quality improvement solution identified through their ACS NSQIP reports
  7. Undertake statewide Collaborative Quality Improvement Projects

Center:Healthcare Studies

Sponsor:Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Principal Investigator:
Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS

NU Co-Investigators:
Kevin O’Leary, MD, MS
Mark Williams, MD, MPH
Mark Schumacher, MS
Amy Halverson, MD

American College of Surgeons
Illinois and Metropolitan Chicago American College of Surgeons chapters
Division of Hospital Medicine