Quality and Safety in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Over the past 15 years, a series of high-profile events including the publication of the Institute of Medicine Reports, To Err Is Human (1999) and Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001), along with the rapid adoption of quality-based regulatory requirements and payment models, as well as the increasingly educated consumer has brought the subject of quality and safety front and center at virtually every hospital across the United States. While there is no doubt that overall we deliver better and safer care today, there is still a great deal of variability. As such, and especially in surgery, we must continue to strive to be better. Ultimately, to achieve consistent excellence in healthcare delivery, a major overhaul is required. Hospitals need to prioritize the development of strong, focused leadership teams that are accountable to a governing board and support transdisciplinary care delivered by an engaged and motivated frontline staff of physicians, nurses, and ancillary providers. While this may appear to be an overwhelming task, and there is no doubt that the healthcare delivery in the United States will look markedly different in 10 years, the goal of this chapter is to highlight key areas in the field of quality and safety that are relevant to the practicing colorectal surgeon today.