Friday, September 16, 2011

Adherence to Process Measures Does Not Equal Better Care

Another paper recently published in Annals of Surgery confirms my previous blog on the subject of one of the more popular process measures, the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP). The main components of SCIP are selection of the proper antibiotic(s) and proper timing of and discontinuation of the the antibiotic(s). Even a year ago it was apparent that although it seemed like a good idea, SCIP didn't lower the surgical wound infection rate.

The new paper reports that there is no correlation between a hospital's level of adherence to the SCIP protocol and the incidence of wound infection in surgical patients.

This also calls into question the Joint Commission's selection of "top performing hospitals" based on their rates of compliance with processes such as SCIP. To read more about the absurdity of the Joint Commission's list, see the blog I posted yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Great point. While I intuitive believe adherance to measures is a good thing, it's just one data point - one which a patient may cling to when choosing where to have his esophagectomy.

The Nerdy Nurse said...

I cannot stand practice that isn't evidence based!
Useless and unfounded extra steps that don't improve patient care are a thorn in my side!

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for the comments.

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