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J Am Coll Surg. 2015 Sep;221(3):669-77; quiz 785-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Organizational Culture Changes Result in Improvement in Patient-Centered Outcomes: Implementation of an Integrated Recovery Pathway for Surgical Patients.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Electronic address: Ewick1@jhmi.edu.
2
Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
3
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.
4
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
5
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
6
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The goals of quality improvement are to partner with patients and loved ones to end preventable harm, continuously improve patient outcomes and experience, and eliminate waste, yet few programs have successfully worked on of all these in concert.

STUDY DESIGN:

We evaluated implementation of a pathway designed to improve patient outcomes, value, and experience in colorectal surgery. The pathway expanded on pre-existing comprehensive unit-based safety program infrastructure and used trust-based accountability models at each level, from senior leaders (chief financial officer and senior vice president for patient safety and quality) to frontline staff. It included preoperative education, mechanical bowel preparation with oral antibiotics, chlorhexidine bathing, multimodal analgesia with thoracic epidurals or transversus abdominus plane blocks, a restricted intravenous fluids protocol, early mobilization, and resumption of oral intake. Eleven months of pre- and post-pathway outcomes, including length of stay (LOS), National Surgical Quality Improvement Program surgical site infection (SSI), venous thromboembolism, and urinary tract infection rates, patient experience, and variable direct costs were compared.

RESULTS:

Three hundred ten patients underwent surgery in the baseline period, the mean LOS was 7 days, and the mean SSI rate was 18.8%. There were 330 patients who underwent surgery on the pathway, the LOS was 5 days, and the rate of SSI was 7.3%. Patient experience improved and variable direct costs decreased.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our trust-based accountability model, which included both senior hospital leadership and frontline providers, provided an enabling structure to rapidly implement an integrated recovery pathway and quickly improve outcomes, value, and experience of patients undergoing colorectal surgery. The study findings have significant implications for spreading surgical quality improvement work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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