SC Foundation Presents $3.8 Million Check to Statewide Surgical Quality Initiative

January 20, 2016

The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation presented a $3.8 million check to Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) to fund the South Carolina Surgical Quality Collaborative (SQC), a first-in-the-nation multi-organization initiative to improve surgical safety and provide the highest quality surgical care to all South Carolinians. The project’s lead organizations are HSSC, a statewide healthcare research collaborative that employs sophisticated health informatics to facilitate research and accelerate results, and the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA).

The SQC also leverages the strengths of the South Carolina Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Department of Surgery. Originally announced in April 2015, the SQC is using the grant award to convene a collaborative of highly engaged health systems, surgical leaders and other statewide organizations to establish a measurement and reporting infrastructure as the foundation of a surgery-focused learning healthcare system. By targeting high-volume and high-risk general surgical procedures, SQC hopes to achieve measurable reductions in post-operative complications and mortality, while lowering general surgical care cost and assuring project sustainability. The check presentation ceremony in Columbia also celebrated the successful recruitment of eight health systems and their surgical leaders that are spearheading research efforts. They are: Baptist Easley Hospital, Kershaw Health, McLeod Regional Medical Center, MUSC, Regional Medical Center, Self Regional Healthcare, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Tidelands Health.

In addition to working to improve the outcomes of the 15 most common surgical procedures and identifying and reducing the impact of health disparities, the SQC has two unique elements: (1) the establishment of a patient engagement group to address issues outside of the surgical procedures that may influence patient outcomes; and (2) training the next generation of surgical leaders in quality improvement techniques and data evaluation by incorporating Institute for Healthcare Improvement QI training into resident curricula at South Carolina teaching institutions. At the conclusion of the three-year project, the SQC is targeting a 3 percent reduction in surgical complications, 5,500 avoided hospital days, 70 avoided deaths, 33 avoided readmissions and $25 million in savings. The implementation of this model learning healthcare system is expected to have an impact on more than 76,000 patients.

Press Release