Here are same-day surgery quality indicators

Joint project tracks 10 areas

The following indicators are tracked by the Surgical Outcomes Project of the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Chicago and the Williamson Institute for Health Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University/ Medical College of Virginia in Richmond:

1. Patients experiencing complications of surgery during the perioperative period.

The project measures the percentage of patients experiencing one of more of these: nausea, vomiting, instability of vital signs, respiratory problems, level of consciousness changes, hemorrhage/ bleeding, inability to void requiring catheterization (excludes intraoperative catheterization).

2. Patients retained beyond the expected recovery time for the surgical procedure.

A patient's recovery time is considered to be longer than expected if it exceeds the recovery times of 75% of all patients undergoing the same procedure.

3. Patients returned to surgery at any time during the postoperative period at the facility.

4. Patients admitted to the hospital following surgery.

5. Patients expressing pain who had pain relief.

6. Patients experiencing problems after discharge related to the surgical procedure requiring medical or surgical care.

This encompasses the following problems: nausea, vomiting, fever, difficulty urinating, bleeding from the site of the procedure, excessive redness, swelling, or other sign of infection. Patients also took one or more of the following actions: visited the physician, were admitted to the hospital, received a new or changed prescription, underwent further surgery, went to the emergency department, received care from a home health care worker.

7. Patients expressing pain after discharge who had relief of pain after utilizing pain control methods as instructed.

8. Patients satisfied with preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care.

The project measures the percentage of patients interviewed who stated that the quality of care they received during the registration and admission process, the preadmission testing, and during the recovery period in the facility was excellent.

9. Patients who received and understood discharge instructions.

10. Patients adequately prepared for self-care at home after discharge.

[Editor's note: For more information, contact the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers at (800) 237-3768 or the Williamson Institute for Health Studies at (804) 828-5223.]