The evolution of emergency general surgery: its time for a dedicated program manager

Barbara Eaton, Lindsay O’Meara, Carla Aresco, Thomas Scalea, Jose Diaz, Brandon Bruns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Emergency general surgery (EGS) is emerging as a distinct sub-specialty of acute care surgery but continues to exist without essential processes that drive modern trauma programs. An EGS-specific quality program was created with service-based Advanced Practice Provider (SB APP) administrative oversight, thus validating the need for a dedicated EGS program manager. Methods: In 2017, a quality structure was formalized with primary focus on scheduled quality meetings, peer review and outcomes review. All admission, service-specific dashboards, and readmission data were manually audited by SB APPs to confirm accuracy and identify opportunities for process improvement. Results: Surgical quality metrics including patient volume, mortality, complications, readmission and infection prevention indicators, were reviewed by SBAPPs. Annual EMR data for all EGS patients was compared to data collected via manual review with a novel registry logic. Comparison of EMR generated data versus EGS registry data identified under-representation of total admissions: in 2016, the EMR identified 130 admissions with registry logic identifying 625 actual EGS admissions. The EMR identified 515 admissions in 2017 and 485 admission in 2018 with registry logic identifying 777 and 712, respectively. Review of readmission data revealed an error of 14 patients in 2017 and 11 patients in 2018. Conclusions: The quest to improve quality of care for the EGS patient requires timely review of high-quality, accurate data by dedicated and trained personnel. Our process revealed the vital functions of an EGS PM are crucial in the evolution of the EGS specialty. Level of evidence: Level IV economic and value-based evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced practice provider
  • Emergency general surgery
  • Program manager

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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