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Lee health system joins statewide care compact

By Staff | Jul 3, 2010

The Lee Memorial Health System recently signed on to participate in the Florida Surgical Care Initiative, a statewide compact with 71 other hospitals.
The initiative is focusing on reducing surgical complications and improving the quality of care in participating hospitals, according to the American College of Surgeons, which is part of the partnership with the Florida Hospital Association.
FSCI was unveiled on May 18 during a patient safety congress in Orlando and is being supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida to specifically hone in on surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, colorectal surgery outcomes and elderly surgery outcomes.
“In just over one month, hospitals have shown their commitment to making Florida a national leader in surgical quality by enthusiastically responding to this important effort,” said Bruce Rueben, president of the FHA, in a prepared statement.
Karen Krieger, director of Public Affairs for the Lee Memorial Health System, confirmed that HealthPark Medical Center, Gulf Coast Medical Center, Cape Coral Hospital and Lee Memorial Hospital have registered, but the system is waiting for more information from initiative leaders.
“It’s about hospitals and surgeons coming together for a statewide effort to focus on the patient and the improvement of the quality of care,” she said.
Clinical data from patients who underwent surgery will be tracked and studied for 30 days. Later, this data will be scrutinized to determine whether improvements can be made to reduce complications and deaths.
According to ACS, hospitals spend, on average, up to an additional $11,000 for the cost of care due to patient complications. Officials are hoping many of these costs can be eliminated through the initiative.
Krieger said FSCI will first be rolled out at HealthPark Medical Center and later in the other three hospital campuses. Dr. Michelle Mon, a general surgeon, is heading up the initiative for LMHS.
“We have participated in other initiatives and we’ve always had excellent results,” said Krieger.
The health system also joined the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP) to focus on improving care for central line blood stream infections, she said.
Dr. Clifford Ko, director of the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, said he was encouraged by the response from Florida hospitals.
“Florida hospitals will show the nation that by working together, they can improve care across an entire state,” he said.