Surgicalists: The Cutting Edge

Case Studies, Surgical Hospitalist Results

Saving $2 Million Annually with a Collaborative Surgical Hospitalist Program

When Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (SMCS) partnered with Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc. (Surgical Affiliates) on a collaborative surgical hospitalist program, the hospital achieved significant improvements in patient care and throughput efficiencies. Additionally, the hospital saw a $2 million annual cost reduction due in part to our evidenced-based, programmatic approach aimed at reducing variation in the delivery of surgical care.

Richard SooHoo, Chief Financial Officer of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, who was instrumental in bringing Surgical Affiliates to SMCS, stated that implementing our program was not merely a solution for consistent surgical call coverage, but a model for SMCS to deliver a higher standard of emergency surgery coverage to the patients in its community. He noted that the hospital is most proud of sustaining this high level of care due to the collaborative partnership with Surgical Affiliates, which began day one of implementing the surgical hospitalist program.

Mr. SooHoo recently participated with me in a webinar discussing our surgical hospitalist program and its results. Participants learned how our surgical hospitalist programs – like hospitalist programs 20 years ago – is an innovative practice model that gives early adopters a significant competitive advantage. This webinar “How did this hospital save $2 million a year?” is posted on our website’s homepage,

The webinar provides detailed information on our team approach to acute care surgery and how our model delivers better patient care, reduces variation, optimizes capacity and creates a “halo” effect throughout the hospital by improving responsiveness and efficiencies across multiple departments.

If you are interested in learning more about how our partnership with SMCS accomplished these results, please read our most recent case study “The Verdict Is In: Surgical Hospitalist Programs Deliver Improved Results throughout the Hospital”. To request a copy, please visit

Patient Safety, Quality of Care

Reducing Patients’ Vulnerability in the OR

Patients undergoing emergency surgical procedures are extremely vulnerable.

And with most hospitals struggling to provide consistent surgical call coverage, patient safety and quality of care can be threatened. That’s why we developed our unique, proven System of Care© – to help hospitals and surgeons transform the delivery of emergency surgical care to their patients, throughout the U.S. This comprehensive Acute Care Surgery service not only delivers dedicated surgicalist teams, but also improves safety and outcomes boosting results throughout the hospital. What we call the ‘halo’ effect are improvements brought out by the Acute Care Surgery service that radiate to departments throughout the hospital.

What’s our System of Care’s “magic formula”? In a recent roundtable presentation at the Becker’s Hospital Review Annual Meeting, we shared the secret to its success:

  • Leadership from expert surgeons and executives
  • An outstanding surgicalist team that delivers standardized surgical care according to evidence-based guidelines; this ensures decreased variations in care and produces measurable results
  • Collaboration with the hospital to consistently improve patient care, quality and safety

As you can see, there’s really no magic involved. But there is a lot of hard work and dedication every single day – resulting in improved outcomes, increased satisfaction, lower costs, and reduced length of stay without an increase in readmission rates.

Our hospital clients are reporting amazing results such as decreasing the rate of complications from acute care surgeries by 72%, dropping the 30-day readmission rate by 66%, and decreasing length of stay by 12%.

It’s exciting to see that each day we and our hospital partners are advancing the delivery of Acute Care Surgery and decreasing patient morbidity and mortality.

For more information about our System of Care visit:

Surgical Hospitalist Results

The Results Are In: Surgical Hospitalist Programs Work!

Since our first surgical hospitalist program entered the medical scene in about 2007, Surgical Affiliates has been diligent about working with our hospital partners in measuring the results of these programs.

Originally, our mutual goal was to ensure consistent, quality surgical care for patients presenting with emergent surgical needs. In program after program, not only was that goal met, but we made the gratifying discovery that the surgical hospitalist collaboration boosted performance throughout a hospital, by improving the quality of care, reducing costs, and decreasing length of stay.

Now, these findings are official with the publication of five-year results from our collaboration with Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, a tertiary referral community hospital with 654 beds in California. Published in the prestigious peer-reviewed Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the study validated the fact that surgical hospitalist programs improve hospital results across the board and produce outcomes that are measurable and sustainable.

As reported in the Journal, the Surgical Affiliates Management Group’s acute care surgery model improved key hospital performance metrics:

  • Decreased length of stay by 12%.
  • Reduced complications by 43%.
  • Lowered costs by 31%—a total of $2 million in a single year.

The importance of this study can’t be overstated: the outcomes, both clinical and financial, have been amazing. Surgical hospitalist programs have indeed come of age and proven themselves to be a valuable tool for hospitals and health systems to meet their clinical and financial goals.

Request a copy of the article to read it in its entirety.