Drive powerful surgical quality improvement – Part 1

“Surgeons don’t actually care that much about mortality.” So says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rick May, a Senior Principal at Vizient. This may seem surprising, but in this episode, Dr. May goes on to explain how other metrics around surgery are much more important and valuable. In this interview, you’ll hear his explanation  and learn a lot more about the current move toward quality in surgical procedures.


Guest speaker:
Rick May, MD
Senior Principal
Clinical Quality Improvement
Orthopedic Surgeon


Tomas Villanueva, DO, MBA, FACPE, SFHM
Clinical Operations and Quality


Show Notes:

[01:03] NSQIP: value and drawbacks

[01:56] Biggest challenges to surgical quality

[02:35] “The surgeons actually don’t care that much about mortality”

[03:12] Documentation need

[04:16] What surgeons need to see: a focus on complications

[05:42] The captain of the ship

[06:20] Role of medical complications

[06:48] Perioperative focus is essential

[07:50] Variance of focus among surgeons and where they need to focus

[09:03] Anecdotally, 60% to 70% of opportunities for quality improvement happen before the OR



To contact Modern Practice:

Dr. May’s contact email:

ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)
Click Here

Developing a Surgical Quality Improvement Program for Resource-Limited Settings (JAMA Surgery) Click Here

Vizient Operations and Quality
Click Here


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