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Surgery. 2012 Feb;151(2):146-52. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.08.015. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Creating a learning healthcare system in surgery: Washington State's Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) at 5 years.

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Department of Surgery and the Surgical Outcomes Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-6410, USA.


There are increasing efforts towards improving the quality and safety of surgical care while decreasing the costs. In Washington state, there has been a regional and unique approach to surgical quality improvement. The development of the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) was first described 5 years ago. SCOAP is a peer-to-peer collaborative that engages surgeons to determine the many process of care metrics that go into a "perfect" operation, track on risk adjusted outcomes that are specific to a given operation, and create interventions to correct under performance in both the use of these process measures and outcomes. SCOAP is a thematic departure from report card oriented QI. SCOAP builds off the collaboration and trust of the surgical community and strives for quality improvement by having peers change behaviors of one another. We provide, here, the progress of the SCOAP initiative and highlight its achievements and challenges.

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