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Colorectal Surgery Quality-Improvement Program Targets Colorectal Surgery Outcomes STORY HIGHLIGHTS UCLA’s ACT UP! program targets complications and hospital readmissions by engaging patients in an early warning system to identify and report potential problems following hospital discharge. A newer, less invasive surgical procedure for removing precancerous polyps enables surgeons to remove the growth in one piece rather than performing a piecemeal resection via colonoscope. UCLAHEALTH.ORG An innovative quality-improvement (QI) program at UCLA aims to decrease complications and reduce hospital readmissions for patients who have undergone colorectal surgery (CRS) by addressing operative risk factors prior to surgery and following up to assess potential post- operative complications before they can spiral out of control, . “We want to make it clear that everyone is important and everyone — the physicians, hospital staff and the patients — has a voice,” says Anne Lin, MD, a colorectal surgeon who pioneered the Advanced Colorectal Treatment Uniform Protocol (ACT UP!) program at UCLA. The program is one of several quality- improvement initiatives sponsored by the 1-800-UCLA-888 (1-800-825-2888) University of California that are designed to improve CRS outcomes. ACT UP! engages participants involved in all aspects of CRS patient care — nurses, pharmacists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, etc. — in developing team-based QI strategies. The group worked together to standardize CRS-patient-care protocols and to develop an educational booklet for CRS patients. Continual QI is facilitated through ongoing monthly meetings. “We discuss possible changes that would improve patient care, including ways to reduce pre-operative risk factors and modifications in perioperative care of patients,” Dr. Lin says. “Our goal is to streamline our entire care process and to increase transparency.”