News From the College

CQGS releases preliminary standards for quality surgical care of older adults


 

The Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery (CQGS), a multidisciplinary coalition representing the ACS and 58 other stakeholder organizations, has released the first comprehensive set of hospital-level surgical care standards for older adults.

The Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery (CQGS), a multidisciplinary coalition representing the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and 58 other stakeholder organizations, has released the first comprehensive set of hospital-level surgical care standards for older adults. The standards have been published on the Annals of Surgery website ahead of print publication in a report titled “Hospital Standards to Promote Optimal Surgical Care of the Older Adult.” (See the article at bit.ly/2p1TmNC.)

These preliminary standards reflect the shift toward interdisciplinary care of surgical patients, while taking into account the unique physiologic changes related to aging and chronic diseases that can leave older patients at risk for postoperative complications. The standards build upon existing quality indicators, National Quality Forum-endorsed quality measures, and previous work by the ACS, American Geriatrics Society, and John A. Hartford Foundation, which have previously collaborated to develop and release two sets of perioperative guidelines. Standards, however, differ from guidelines, as Julia Berian, MD, lead author and ACS Clinical Scholar, notes. “Standards, as they exist in ACS Quality Programs, are more than recommendations—they are elevated to the level of care practices that are expected to be completed,” Dr. Berian said.

The standards are divided into four categories—continuum of care, clinical care, program management, and patient outcomes and follow-up. CQGS stakeholders rated 308 proposed standards of care for whether they are validated means of improving quality of geriatric surgery and can feasibly be implemented. The reviewers rated 306 of the standards as valid and 304 as feasible.

The preliminary standards are undergoing a two-phase pilot process. The alpha phase, which involved engaging 15 end-user hospitals to gain their insight on the possibility of implementing these standards, is nearing completion. The beta phase, which involves actual implementation of the standards in six hospitals, will occur later this year.

Read the full ACS press release at facs.org/media/press-releases/2017/olderadults040617.

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