Establishing best practices for structured NSQIP review

Aaron J. Cunningham, Brian Howell, Stephanie Polites, Sanjay Krishnaswami, Eryn Hughey, Susan Terry, Jenn Fox, Kenneth Azarow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: We describe an institutional program (INR- Interval NSQIP Review), to augment NSQIP utility through structured, multidisciplinary review of surgical outcomes in order to create near ‘real-time’ adverse event (AE) monitoring and improve surgeon awareness. Methods: INR is a monthly meeting of quality analysts, surgeons and nursing leadership initiated to validate AE with NSQIP criteria, review data in real-time, and perform in-depth case analyses. Occurrence classification concerns were referred for national NSQIP review. Monthly reports were distributed to surgeons with AE rates and case-specific details. Results: Since implementation, 377/3,026 AE underwent in-depth review. Of those, 7 occurrences were referred for clarification by central NSQIP review. Overall 37 (1.2%) were not consistent with NSQIP-defined AE after INR. Time from occurrence to surgeon review decreased by 223 days (296 vs. 73 days, p = 0.006). Discussion: Structured monthly institutional review of AE prior to submission can create greater transparency and confidence of NSQIP data, reduce time from occurrence to surgeon recognition, and improve stakeholder understanding of AE definitions. This approach can be tailored to institutional needs and should be evaluated for downstream improvement in patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-868
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Adverse events
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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