A donation of $2.5 million to the Tennessee Hospital Association will help fund more hospitals’ participation in a national quality improvement program that could have a significant impact on post-surgical infection rates and other outcomes, health care officials said today.
At a news conference at Erlanger hospital, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee CEO Vicky Gregg presented a check to Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association, and Dr. Joe Cofer, a surgeon at Erlanger and a strong advocate for the surgical reporting program.
The money will pay for half of the cost of a Tennessee hospital to join the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, which provides comprehensive data on a hospital’s surgical outcomes that is risk-adjusted to take into account the health of a hospital’s patients.
The data, which includes more than 130 different variables for each patient who has an operation, is for internal hospital use only, but participating hospitals will be able to compare their outcomes and share the most effective methods for improving quality, Dr. Cofer said.
“There’s no reason for anybody to keep their practices secret,” he said. “We’re all in this business together.”
Mr. Becker said the hospital association aims to get eight Tennessee hospitals involved in the program to start. Three hospitals in the state already participate: Erlanger hospital, Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville and Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...