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Published on September 13, 2013

National organization honors UHS for surgical excellence

UHS is one of 28 hospitals around the country to receive special commendation for outstanding surgical outcomes during 2011. The Greater Binghamton-based healthcare system was featured on a recognition poster displayed at the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, held in October in Chicago. The honor was bestowed by the college’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Kathleen Wold, ANP, EdD, director of Quality Management at UHS Hospitals, explained how UHS came to be noted for its top-notch care of patients who've had surgery. “As a participant in the program, UHS tracks and submits to the American College of Surgeons the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collects data that directs patient safety and the quality of surgical care improvements,” Ms. Wold said. 

The program honors a select group of hospitals that consistently provide exceptional care to surgical patients to avoid complications such as heart attack, pneumonia or clotting disorders like deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, plus provide outstanding management of issues such as urinary tract or surgical site infections. The 28 hospitals receiving the national group’s applause had attained “exemplary results” in at least two of the five designated medical conditions.  These determinations were based on risk-adjusted data from the national program’s July 2012 semiannual report.

“The excellent results posted by UHS are evidence of the value of patient-centered care and real medical teamwork,” said J. Richard Cunningham, MD, physician champion for this ACS program at UHS Hospitals.  “It’s an example of our physicians, nurses, technicians and support staff working together to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.”  Laurie Wollman, RN, and Matthew Johnson, RN, who work in the infection control department and together led the program for UHS Hospitals in 2011, agreed and stated, “Our surgeons, nurses and OR staff are committed to the high quality standards of this program and their hard work is paying off.” 


The goal of the national program, known by its initials, ACS NSQIP, is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply the best available scientific evidence to the practice of surgery. 
Further, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced or eliminated, a reduction in healthcare costs follows, leaders of the program said.

ACS NSQIP is a major program of the American College of Surgeons and is currently used in over 500 hospitals nationwide.  The college, founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient, is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery.  It has more than 78,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services from more than 60 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.


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