News Release: IHE study demonstrates AHS improving quality and saving money

An Alberta evaluation study has been published in the Annals of Surgery, Feb 20, 2018: An Economic Evaluation of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in Alberta, Canada.

The Institute of Health Economics (IHE) conducted the study in partnership with the Surgery Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) in Alberta to analyze the healthcare costs and savings associated with quality improvement (QI) interventions initiated and implemented utilizing the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). This was done for five acute care facilities of Alberta Health Services (AHS) who had adopted NSQIP in 2015 as pilot projects. The interventions initiated and implemented utilizing NSQIP were effective and cost-saving for AHS.

The study found that the “net cost-savings were $8.8 million and the return on investment ratio was 4.3, meaning that every $1.00 invested in NSQIP would bring $4.30 in returns.” The study also noted that the cost-savings would be even larger if NSQIP was prolonged in the pilot sites and/or expanded to other sites across the province.

In January 2018, AHS CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu, announced to AHS staff: “These sites have garnered impressive results in reducing complications and saving money. Based on the positive feedback from operations and a strong economic evaluation of their progress, we’re pleased to announce that the AHS Board and Executive Leadership Team has approved NSQIP implementation for our major surgical centres.”

Dr. Christopher McCabe, CEO of the IHE, noted, “The Institute of Health Economics is pleased to be able to support the efforts of the Surgery Strategic Clinical Network to spend scarce health resources wisely.” He added, “It is encouraging to see that Alberta Health Services’ commitment to quality improvement demonstrates that it is possible to improve care and save money at the same time.”

Authors of the study were Dr. Thanh Nguyen from the IHE and Tim Baron and Stacey Litvinchuk from AHS. The article can be accessed at:


Jasmine Brown
Director of Communications, Institute of Health Economics
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