Journal of the American College of Surgeons Publishes Five-Year Results of Pioneering Surgical Hospitalist Program
Collaboration of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, and Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc., Produces Significant Improvements in Patient Care at Lower Costs
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A collaborative surgical hospitalist program can improve patient outcomes, reduce length of stay, and lower costs, sustaining these results over a five year period of time, according to an article published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
“This study proves that in both the short and the long term, that model produces a “halo”
“We wanted to ensure that patients at our hospital were provided with access to the highest quality of surgical services available, no matter what time of the day or night they needed this care,” said Mr. Richard SooHoo, chief financial officer of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “The data published in the Journal demonstrates that our collaboration with Dr. Owens and his team at Surgical Affiliates is achieving that goal. We are encouraged by the success we have seen, and the outcomes, both clinical and financial, have been quite amazing.”
“We believed that it was possible to take the service model developed for trauma and apply it to acute care surgeries that were needed on an emergency basis,” said Leon J. Owens, M.D., FACS, co-author of the study and CEO of Surgical Affiliates. “This study proves that in both the short and the long term, that model produces a “halo” effect throughout the hospital in clinical outcomes, in efficiency and in cost savings. The value to all communities, especially those in which the hospital may not have a trauma center, is clear: patients can get high quality surgical services any time of the day or night, when they are needed.”
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, a tertiary referral community hospital with 654 beds in California, and Surgical Affiliates Management Group, one of the nation’s first and most experienced surgical hospitalist companies, established the program in 2007. Surgical Affiliates provides a team of surgeons, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for 24/7 coverage, to perform acute care surgeries that may be needed, round-the-clock.
Program results published in the Journal article showed these sustainable improvements over the five year period:
- Decreased length of stay for general surgery cases by 23%—down from 6.5 days (median 4 days), to a low of 5.7 days (median 3 days).
- Reduced complications 43%—falling from a rate of 21% to 12%.
- Readmissions showed a downward trend, though this was not statistically significant. The important fact is that while length of stay significantly decreased, the readmission rate did not increase.
- Decreased hospital costs—dropping 31%, from $12,009 to $8,306, indicating potential savings of $2 million (or more) in a single year for a facility of this type and size.
The Surgical Affiliates’ model is based on leadership from expert surgeons and executives, building outstanding surgical teams that follow evidence based guidelines in care delivery, and collaboration with the hospital staff to consistently improve patient care and safety.
The Journal article, “Sustainability and Success of the Acute Care Surgery Model in the Nontrauma Setting,” was authored by Michael Shay O’Mara, M.D., MBA, FACS; Lynette Scherer, M.D., FACS; (Dr. Scherer is also the Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Affiliates); David Wisner, M.D., FACS; and Leon J. Owens, M.D., FACS. The authors undertook a retrospective review of all emergency surgery operations performed at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS), both before and after implementation of the acute care surgical service (ACS). SMCS has two campuses and evaluates between 75,000 and 85,000 emergency patients annually. The study began January 1, 2007 and ran through December 31, 2011. The year 2007 was the control (pre-acute care service) and the years 2008 to 2011 (ACS-1 to ACS-4) were after the acute care surgical service was implemented and compared with the control year.
To read an abstract of the study, “Sustainability and Success of the Acute Care Surgery Model in the Nontrauma Setting,” visit the Journal of the American College of Surgeons’ website: http://www.journalacs.org/article/S1072-7515(14)00220-8/abstract. To request a copy of the full article please visit the Surgical Affiliates’ website at: http://samgi.com.
About Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento:
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) is a not-for-profit hospital providing acute and advanced care to Sacramento and the surrounding area. SMCS includes two acute care hospital campuses, Sutter General and Sutter Memorial, providing care since 1923, and Sutter Center for Psychiatry, providing psychiatric, mental health and chemical dependency services since 1958. SMCS is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit http://www.suttermedicalcenter.org.
About Surgical Affiliates Management Group:
Surgical Affiliates Management Group is the first and only surgical hospitalist company with published, proven results that its programs improve patient care, lower costs, reduce readmissions, and enhance hospital throughput and capacity. Surgical Affiliates’ System of Care is a permanent solution to the challenge of providing 24/7 surgical care in the hospital and one that raises the level of hospital performance across the board, preparing these facilities for the world of pay-for-performance and accountable care models. The Surgical Affiliates’ System of Care for general surgery, trauma, and orthopedics is currently in use in hospitals ranging from rural facilities to large community hospitals to multi-hospital systems. For more information, visit the Surgical Affiliates website at http://samgi.com.