ACHP Joins National Effort to Reduce Surgical Complications

Surgical Care Improvement Project Aims to Reduce Complications by 25% by 2010. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) today announced that it has joined the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) as a national partner.  SCIP is a national quality improvement project whose goal is to reduce surgical complications in hospitals by 25 percent by 2010.

Surgical complications take a measurable toll on a patient’s health and safety, extending treatment and leading to longer hospital stays.  SCIP is designed to provide hospitals, physicians, nurses and other caregivers with effective strategies to reduce four common surgical complications – surgical wound infections, blood clots, perioperative heart attack and ventilator-associated pneumonia. The strategies are based on the best available science and will be refined and improved as new scientific information becomes available. 

“Seven years ago, the Institute of Medicine reported that 44,000 to 98,000 Americans experience medical errors each year,” said Jack Ebeler, President and CEO of ACHP.  “Working to eliminate these mistakes is a big part of improving health care and the lives of patients.  This important partnership will do that in a setting where we know that precautionary actions – tasks like preventing surgical site infections – can save lives.  We are excited to be a part of this important national effort.” 

SCIP is one of the first national quality improvement initiatives to unite national hospital, physician and nursing organizations; the federal government; the organization that accredits hospitals; and private sector experts in far-reaching quality improvement and patient safety efforts.

SCIP focuses on process measures, such as the appropriate use of antibiotics near the time of surgery and the use of beta blockers to prevent cardiovascular events.

The SCIP Steering Committee includes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,AmericanCollegeof Surgeons, American Hospital Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Veterans Health Administration.

For more information about SCIP, please visit, email, or call (405) 840-2891.

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ACHP is a leadership organization that brings together innovative health plans and provider organizations that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care to their communities. Drawing on years of experience, members collaborate to identify problems, share information and work toward solutions to some of health care’s biggest challenges. Their work is the foundation for ACHP’s advocacy on behalf of better health care nationally.  More information is available at

Capital Health Plan; CareOregon; Fallon Community Health Plan; Group Health Cooperative; Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin; Health Alliance Plan; HealthPartners; HIP Health Plan of New York; Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and the Permanente Federation; M•Plan; OSF HealthPlans; UCare Minnesota; UPMC Health Plan