First American college of surgeons national surgical quality improvement program report from a low-middle-income country: A 1-year outcome analysis of neurosurgical cases

Document Type



Neurosurgery; General Surgery; Neurology


Background: Low-middle-income countries (LMICs) share a substantial proportion of global surgical complications. This is compounded by the seemingly deficient documentation of postsurgical complications and the lack of a national average for comparison. In this context, the implementation of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) that compares hospital performance based on postsurgical complication data provided by a wide array of centers, could be a major initiative in a resource-challenged setting. Implementation of the NSQIP has provenly mitigated postoperative morbidity and mortality across many centers all over the world. To our knowledge, this report is the first from an LMIC to report its postoperative neurosurgical complications in comparison with international benchmarks.
Methods: Our hospital joined the NSQIP in 2019. Through a standardized ACS protocol, ACS-trained surgical clinical reviewers (SCRs) reviewed and extracted data from randomly assigned neurosurgical patients' medical records from preoperative to postoperative (30-day) data using validated, standardized data definitions. SCRs entered deidentified data in an online Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act web-based secure platform. The validated data were then consigned to the ACS NSQIP head office in the United States where the data were analyzed and compared with similar data from other centers registered with the NSQIP. In this way, our hospital was rated for each of the variables related to postsurgical complications after both spinal and cranial procedures, and the results were sent back to us in the form of text, tables, and graphs.
Results: Our initial report suggested a relatively higher odds ratio for sepsis and readmissions after spinal procedures at our hospital, and a similarly higher odds ratio for morbidity, sepsis, urinary tract infection, and surgical site infection for cranial procedures. For these variables, our hospital fell in the needs improvement category of the NSQIP. For the rest of the variables studied for both spinal and cranial procedures, the hospital fell in the as expected category of the NSQIP.
Conclusions: Implementation of the NSQIP is an important first step in creating a culture of transparency, safety, and quality. This is the first report of NSQIP implementation in an LMIC, and we have shown comparable results to developed countries.


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World Neurosurgery