JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The American College of Surgeons recognized BAMC for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2018, ranking the hospital among the top 10 percent of participating hospitals for surgical care.

"Achieving meritorious recognition means that BAMC ranks in the top 10 percent of over 722 hospitals on this composite surgical quality score," said Army Lt. Col. George Kallingal, NSQIP surgeon champion and urologic oncologist. "This achievement shows our patients that the surgical care they receive at BAMC is among the highest quality in the nation. What is even more impressive is that we are able to do this in our high-risk surgeries as well. BAMC performs among the highest complexity surgeries in the DOD."

BAMC is one of 88 ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program participating hospitals across the nation that have achieved meritorious recognition for surgical patient care. Additionally NSQIP recognized 72 hospitals on its "All Cases" list and 72 hospitals on its "High Risk" list. As a further distinction, BAMC was among only 56 hospitals recognized on both meritorious lists.

"This is a significant accomplishment," said BAMC Commanding General Brig. Gen. Wendy Harter. "It is a testament to the commitment our entire staff has to provide safe, quality care for our patients each and every day."

Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn, surgeon-in-chief, San Antonio Military Health System, and BAMC deputy commander for Surgical Services, agrees.

"This accomplishment is a direct reflection of the knowledge, skill and dedication of every member of the BAMC team," Osborn said. "I am particularly proud of our people who provide this highest quality of care for the most complex patients in the Military Health System and the San Antonio area."

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, BAMC is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that directs patient safety and the quality of surgical care improvements.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score in either an "All Cases" category or a category which includes only "High Risk" cases. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2019 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2018 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes.

Each composite score was determined through a different weighted formula combining eight outcomes. The outcome performances related to patient management were in the following clinical areas: mortality, unplanned intubation, prolonged ventilator use, renal failure, cardiac incidents including cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction; respiratory illness such as pneumonia; surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space; or urinary tract infection.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively as well as risk adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels.

The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the "best scientific evidence" to the practice of surgery.

"These results should give our patients comfort and optimism that BAMC is committed to providing our patients the best quality surgical experience every step of the way," Harter said.