SCIP – Surgical Care Improvement Project

Core Measures have become the first publicly available metrics to reflect a hospital’s quality of care and are equally important as patient satisfaction (HCAPS) to the success of SRMC. Core Measures is a term created for a series of evidence-based measures used to judge whether each patient received the standard of care for several common conditions treated at hospitals. Currently, metrics are reported on patients with four conditions: AMI, CHF, Pneumonia, and the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP). If you are ever in the hospital and hear someone use the term “Fall-out,” that means the care of the patient received in a facility did not meet the established standard of care. 

One core measure that we recently worked to improve was SCIP. At the directive of both the Interim Medical Executive Committee and our facility and division Quality leaders, we were tasked with developing a process that surgeons and other physicians could use to ensure that we would always be SCIP compliant with every case.  After a weeklong Lean Kaizen event, the team came up with many improvements including standardizing pre-operative checklists, making physician’s order sets SCIP compliant, and ensuring that both anesthesiologists and our pharmacists are verifying that patients are receiving an appropriate antibiotic. Each of these measures can have exceptions but they must be appropriately documented in the patient’s medical record and have an evidence-based reason. We also realized that physicians and hospital staff needed to be educated on SCIP and other core measure metrics and an education session has now been incorporated into hospital orientation.

This was just one small project that we have done to streamline the efficiency and quality in which patient care is provided at SRMC. If you have any recommendations for new projects or questions about SCIP and other Core Measures feel free to leave a comment on this site or contact Kristin Thompson at 540-848-4510 or email

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