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Am J Surg. 2009 Nov;198(5 Suppl):S41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.08.005.

Outcomes of care of abdominal aortic aneurysm in Veterans Health Administration facilities: results from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

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Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, Olin E. Teague Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Temple, TX, USA.


This report describes outcomes of care for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), along with methods used by the Veterans Affairs (VA) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in tracking, monitoring, and improving surgical results in VA facilities. Since the inception of NSQIP in 1994, a continual drop in overall surgical mortality, along with decreased morbidity, has occurred. A parallel improvement in results of vascular surgery and AAA repair was also observed. Soon after introduction of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), with Food and Drug Administration device approval in 1999, robust electronic NSQIP records immediately began to capture individual facility performances and outcomes for both types of AAA repair. The NSQIP data center provided actual and risk-adjusted analyses for both procedures semiannually. These analyses have been used by its executive board to provide recommendations, often based on site visits, to improve outcomes. Requirements for reporting of facility-specific data and feedback, paper audits, and site visits appear to relate directly to improved AAA care. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) outcomes of AAA repair are comparable to those reported nationally and internationally and have continued to improve in recent years. National VHA initiatives, based on data feedback and active oversight, relate to some of the lowest AAA mortality rates available. This review describes past, present, and possible future NSQIP strategies to improve outcomes for AAA repair with general comments about recent alternative proposals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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