Skip to main content

October 29, 2021 – Original Press Release


The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized UNC Hospitals for achieving “meritorious” outcomes for surgical patient care for the second year in a row.

Of an eligible 607 hospitals participating in the adult program in 2020, UNC Hospitals was recognized and deemed “Meritorious” across both the “All Cases” and the “High-Risk Cases” categories – a distinction that only 51 other hospitals received in 2020. Moreover, only 34 other hospitals (~5.8%) achieved this distinction in both 2019 and 2020 – putting UNC among the ranks of Mass General, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and NYU Langone.

ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report: UNC Site Summary

These outcomes data reflect UNC’s and UNC Urology’s surgery ACS NSQIP performance benchmarked against the full 607 participating sites for 2020.

UNC Hospitals – All Surgical

2019 Data Chart

UNC Hospital performance across all surgical cases was ranked as ‘Exemplary‘ in the following categories: Pneumonia, Ventilator > 48 hours, venous thromboembolism (VTE), Sepsis, and ROR (Return to Operating Room). The only category across all surgical cases performed at UNC Hospitals that were labeled as ‘Needs Improvement‘ was UTI.

UNC Urology

UNC Hospitals’ Urology surgical cases (chart below) performed ‘As Expected‘ in all major categories; achieving ‘Exemplary‘ metrics for cases involving Morbidity, surgical site infection (SSI), Sepsis

2019 Data Chart

* Determined by Outlier status or Adjusted Quartile status.
** Predicted Observed Rate is the model-adjusted observed rate.
Data: American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, 2021. ACS NSQIP® Semiannual Report: Site Summary – UNC Hospitals January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020

About the ACS NSQIP

Many hospitals have trouble tracking surgical complications and may lack the data necessary to analyze and take appropriate steps to fix problem areas. You can’t improve a hospital’s surgical quality if you can’t measure it; and for that, you need robust, valid data. Yet 59% of surveyed sites were unaware of their hospital’s surgical complication rate before they joined the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® (ACS NSQIP®).

ACS NSQIP data enhances a hospital’s ability to zero in on preventable complications. Because it was developed by surgeons who understand the realities of the operating room, ACS NSQIP helps hundreds of hospitals across the country gauge the quality of their surgical programs with unrivaled precision and measurably improve surgical outcomes.

Learn More

ACS NSQIP-participating hospitals are required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures; these outcomes are then analyzed by the ACS and reported back to hospitals. The results will inform patient safety initiatives within the hospital and impact the quality of surgical care.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score in either an “All Cases” category or a category that includes only “High Risk” cases. Each composite score was determined through a different weighted formula combining eight outcomes. Outcomes in the following eight clinical areas were evaluated:

  • Mortality
  • Cardiac: cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction
  • Pneumonia
  • Unplanned Intubation
  • Ventilator use for more than 48 hours per patient
  • Renal Failure
  • SSI: superficial incisional SSI, deep incisional SSI, and organ/space SSI
  • UTI: urinary tract infection

A full listing of the recognized hospitals is available online.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients.

The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients.

The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit