Monday, 26 January 2015 20:41

Surgical Affiliates Management Group Publishes Case Study of a Collaborative Surgical Hospitalist Program Undertaken with Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 26, 2015– Implementing a collaborative surgical hospitalist program with Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc., enabled Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) to achieve significant improvements in timeliness of patient care and clinical outcomes, reduced length of stay and lowered costs—$2 million annually. A new case study, entitled “The Verdict Is In: Surgical Hospitalist Programs Deliver Improved Results throughout the Hospital,” details how these results were accomplished is available at

“Implementing a program like the one provided by Surgical Affiliates has helped SMCS to solve a problem, rather than merely address the symptoms,” said Richard SooHoo, Chief Financial Officer of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “What we are most proud about is sustaining these results, and taking this model from just patching the tire, to getting a whole new tire that never has to be repaired again.”

Like many hospitals nationwide, SMCS was facing challenges meeting its emergency and in-hospital call demands. Market forces beyond the hospital’s control exacerbated the issue: rising costs, decreasing revenues and a shortage of surgeons.

According to Michael Abate, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the hospital and Medical Director of its Adult Medical Hospitalist Program, “The real throughput that is improved – because patients get to surgery more quickly and the length of stay is shorter – is that the hospital beds open up that much faster. If the patient used to be in hospital for five days, they’re now in hospital for three days. For two days that bed is now free because you’re able to get patients into surgery faster and your team is in-house to deal with all subsequent care, so there are real throughput gains and cost savings.”

There is a growing demand for affordable solutions to cover emergency surgery needs and to improve clinical and financial results in hospitals across the U.S. By utilizing the service model developed for trauma and applying it to acute care emergency surgeries, the Surgical Affiliates program brings a team approach with evidence-based care guidelines to acute surgery services. But, it is much more than an answer to the problem of consistent emergency department surgical call coverage. It delivers better and timelier care to patients and creates a “halo” effect throughout the hospital by improving responsiveness and efficiencies across multiple departments.

Carrie Owen Plietz, CEO of SMCS, points to the benefits to patient care and the patient experience that the partnership has created, “The results speak for themselves for increased quality of care and improved outcomes. What the program also delivers is a team of professionals who are inherent within the lifeblood of the organization, and who are committed to ensuring the patients receive great service. It’s not just about clinical outcomes. It’s the connection with family members, healing touches, holding individual’s hands and making sure they enjoy an overall great experience. We are an excellent example of how pulling surgeons in to be part of the collective team is the right direction to go forward in the future. It’s really about that collaboration and finding creative solutions to achieve the desired outcomes.”

The results of the program Surgical Affiliates implemented with Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento were reported in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The study proved that a collaborative surgical hospitalist program can improve patient outcomes, appropriately improve CMI, reduce length of stay, and lower costs, sustaining these results over a five year period of time. To read an abstract of the study, “Sustainability and Success of the Acute Care Surgery Model in the Nontrauma Setting,” visit the Journal of the American College of Surgeons’ website: To request a copy of the full article please visit the Surgical Affiliates’ website at:

“Hospitals need to look beyond simple on-call staffing solutions for the emergency department,” said Leon J. Owens, M.D., FACS, CEO of Surgical Affiliates. “With a more integrated program, the entire standard of care for patients is raised. Hospitals benefit from better patient throughput, optimized capacity, and cost savings. And most importantly, patients reap all the benefits of superb, coordinated care.”

For more information or to request a copy of the case study, visit

About Surgical Affiliates Management Group

Surgical Affiliates Management Group is the first and only surgical hospitalist company with published, proven results that its programs improve patient care, lower costs, reduce readmissions, and enhance hospital throughput and capacity. Surgical Affiliates’ System of Care is a permanent solution to the challenge of providing 24/7 surgical care in the hospital and one that raises the level of hospital performance across the board, preparing these facilities for the world of pay-for-performance and accountable care models. The Surgical Affiliates’ System of Care for general surgery, trauma, and orthopedics is currently in use in hospitals ranging from rural facilities to large community hospitals to multi-hospital systems. For more information, visit the Surgical Affiliates website at

About Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) is a not-for-profit hospital providing acute and advanced care to Sacramento and the surrounding area. SMCS includes two acute care hospital campuses, Sutter General and Sutter Memorial, providing care since 1923, and Sutter Center for Psychiatry, providing psychiatric, mental health and chemical dependency services since 1958. SMCS is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit

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