The Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery is a leader in developing quality outcome metrics at the national level, improving the quality of care for patients and informing national health care policy development.

The Codman Center at Massachusetts General Hospital takes an active leadership role in developing and vetting quality metrics at the national level to improve quality of care and outcomes for patients. Members of the center’s staff chair the boards of national societies and work with all levels of leadership to define important metrics and registries for data collection.

Patient groups and medical specialty societies, such as the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS), have pursued registries as a clinical improvement strategy because of the benefit available to patients. With an increasing national focus on quality and cost, the opportunity to leverage clinical registries to improve outcomes and appropriate utilization has never been greater. When offered, clinicians seize the chance to improve patient care by sharing and learning from clinical data. Payers, when given access to information about clinical performance, use it to make better decisions.

Participation in National Surgical Quality Databases and Clinical Registries

The Codman Center has developed formal structures within the Department of Surgery at Mass General to facilitate participation in registries by:

  • Incorporating them into the clinical workflow for physicians and nurses
  • Creating consensus concerning the critical data elements around which data should be reported to registries
  • Promoting clinician participation in registries as an activity that supports professionalism and clinical quality improvement as well as advancing research

In addition to collecting and providing data to national registries, the Codman Center reviews outcomes reported by Mass General’s Department of Surgery to assess the performance of various procedures. The data also informs several ongoing research projects focused on:

  • Cost effectiveness of health care
  • Appropriateness of procedures
  • Metric development and national reporting on:
    • Bariatric surgery through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)
    • Adult cardiac surgery through the STS
    • Complex gastrointestinal surgery

High Marks in Surgical Quality

The Mass General Department of Surgery and Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness have been repeatedly recognized for meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). Hospitals achieve this distinction based on composite quality score in the outcomes in mortality and complications such as cardiac, respiratory, unplanned intubation, ventilator greater than 48 hours, renal failure, surgical site infections and urinary tract infections for all surgery cases.

This recognition reflects the outstanding performance of the hospital’s surgical teams in providing patient care at many levels.