Tuesday I was able to attend the annual retreat for hospitals and medical centers involved in a massive coordinated safety and effectiveness group known as SCOAP (Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program).
Surgeons and anesthesiologists have been at the forefront of most major advances in systematic care improvement, from the residency training model, to hospital standards, to outcomes/evidence based care. Dr. David Flum is the brilliant leader of this, but I was just as impressed at the commitment of docs from around the state (from tiny critical access hospitals, to military hospitals, to huge University and regional medical centers) to take the time and contribute in so many ways to make the care of our fellow citizens better every day. It is measurable, and they have the data to prove it! These powerful cooperative tools require a lot from those who already give 110%. I am honored to know them, and hope that my hospital can participate soon.
The famous Atul Gawande MD, MPH was there as the keynote speaker (along with the Washington State Patient Safety Conference group), and gave a great lecture about Checklists in quality care. He stressed that the goal is quality, and the tools should not be confused with the mission. His articles are always insightful, and well written.
My former residency chairman Anthony Senagore MD MS MBA gave an invited lecture about recovery from colon surgery (Enhanced recovery protocol), and a great deal of new research is just starting to be applied - getting people back on their feet quicker, and avoiding costly and dangerous problems during the healing process. Thanks also to Dr Patch Dellinger for making the data on Surgical Site Infection more understandable.
Thanks also to Governor Chris Gregoire for the video greeting, and for funding the Governor's Life Science Discovery Fund that helps support all this.