Quality Improvement and
Patient Safety (QIPS) Committee

Published in December Issue             

The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) Committee of ASMBS, voted Committee of the Year for 2016 by the ASMBS Executive Council, was formed to support the mission and values of the society by promoting continuous improvement in patient safety and risk reduction. These goals are achieved by the integration and coordination of patient safety initiatives of member surgeons.

The committee’s patient safety initiatives are designed to reduce medical errors through process analysis and participation in quality improvement reporting. The QIPS Committee believes that the most effective manner to decrease surgeon exposure to liability is through improving patient safety.

ASMBS Past President Dr. John Morton added the quality improvement focus to the QIPS Committee’s mission in 2014 with the goal of raising awareness and enhancing the ASMBS’ strong emphasis on quality in bariatric surgery.

Goals of the committee include to identify gaps and members’ needs in patient safety, risk management and professional liability; identify and develop optimal resources for patient safety, risk management and professional liability; provide recommendations for promotion and dissemination of patient safety and risk management information; and identify and employ process measures to identify and disseminate quality improvement initiatives.

In recent years, under the leadership of long-time committee member Dr. William Sweet, the committee disseminated medical malpractice vignettes to the membership via connect using information abstracted and de-identified from “real” cases with invited expert commentary to help members avoid adverse events and liability.

This year the QIPS Committee pursued two major long-term projects to completion.

With the support of the ASMBS Foundation, the Executive Council, and the direct involvement of a number of past presidents of the society, 4 multi-day site visits were made for data collection to major malpractice carriers in order to create the ASMBS Closed Claims Registry in bariatric surgery. At ObesityWeek 2016, QIPS Committee Chair Dr. Eric DeMaria and Past President Dr. John Morton, presented the registry’s preliminary findings during the Top Ten Papers session. Going forward, the QIPS Committee plans detailed study of the registry data for the purpose of identifying trends in malpractice suits, identifying gaps in risk management and developing education offerings to improve patient safety and reduce claims.

Also this year, the QIPS Committee, under the leadership of Committee Co-Chair Dr. Dana Telem, completed another major long-term project focused on creating a national Care Pathway for Sleeve Gastrectomy. The idea to focus on pathway development had its start under the visionary leadership of Past QIPS Committee Chair Dr. Dan Jones who directed a team of QIPS members led by Dr. Telem, to collect data on the status of pathways used by ASMBS leadership across the country. This study identified that care paths across programs in the United States demonstrate tremendous variability (Telem, D, et al. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2016 Aug 3. pii: S1550-7289(16)30163-0. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2016.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]).

As the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) requires clinical care pathways for program accreditation, ASMBS Immediate-President Dr. Raul Rosenthal made the creation of an evidence-based pathway for members a top priority of his agenda for 2015-2016 and charged the QIPS Committee with developing it. The intent of developing this pathway is to provide new or established programs with up-to-date, evidence-based information regarding the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative management of patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy. The care pathway is meant to serve a dynamic clinical decision support tool in an effort to provide value-based care. The Care Pathway for Sleeve Gastrectomy will soon be available to all society members on the ASMBS website (www.asmbs.org). A summary of the pathway document will be published in SOARD in the coming months.