Conference Coverage

ACS NSQIP project collected patient-reported data on surgery outcomes

Key clinical point: Clinically meaningful data on patient-reported outcomes can be obtained using the ACS NSQIP platform.

Major finding: The average completion time for the survey was 6.4 minutes, and the median number of items missing was zero.

Study details: A 45-question electronic survey of 1,300 patients treated at 18 hospitals for 340 different types of surgical procedures.

Disclosures: Dr. Liu had no disclosures to report.



– A pilot survey to generate patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data through a national surgical quality initiative had a high response rate and yielded clinically meaningful data, an investigator reported at the American College of Surgeons Quality and Safety Conference.

The 45-question electronic survey, conducted as part of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) had 1,300 respondents with a response rate of 20%, according to Jason B. Liu, MD, an ACS Clinical Scholar-in-Residence and general surgery resident at the University of Chicago.

Results to date have demonstrated that in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA), pain had a greater impact on daily activities than for other procedures, Dr. Liu said in a general session presentation the conference.

“Overall, the lesson learned is that in the current health care landscape, with its regulations and privacy issues, it is indeed both feasible and acceptable to electronically measure patient-reported outcomes using the ACS NSQIP platform,” Dr. Liu said at the meeting.

Eighteen hospitals in the United States and Canada participated in the pilot survey, which elicited responses from patients with a median age of 63 years, representing more than 340 types of operations.

The survey incorporates measurements from the PROMIS Pain Interference instrument, which measures how much pain hinders daily activities; PROMIS Global Health, which measures physical and mental health; and aspects of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surgical Care Survey (S-CAHPS), Dr. Liu said.

The TKA finding is just one example of the data obtained through the pilot, he said. Looking at PROMIS Pain Interference, pain had more impact in TKA patients compared with open GI, breast hernia, and laparoscopic GI procedures. Difference between means ranged from 3.2 to 9.4 for TKA, compared with those procedures.

Conducting the pilot has been an “uphill battle,” according to Dr. Liu, citing critics who wondered if the program would generate meaningful data, whether older patients would respond to an electronic survey, and whether patients would take time to fill out a 45-question survey.

In fact, the average completion time for the survey was just 6.4 minutes, and the median number of items missing was zero, meaning that patients who started the survey tended to finish it, he said.

“We really hope to expand what we’ve learned across all of the [ACS] quality programs so that we can begin to really incorporate the patients’ perspective in improving national surgical quality,” he said.

Dr. Liu had no disclosures to report.

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