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What is NSQIP Transplant?

Feb 14, 2024, 17:04 PM by Anna Shults

Author: Ryutaro Hirose, MD

NSQIP Transplant was developed in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) to track transplant-specific outcomes and improve surgical quality. Having successfully completed the pilot phase, we are looking for 40-50 transplant centers to get in on the ground floor and push NSQIP Transplant into the production phase.

The Call for a National Surgical Quality Improvement System

In 2006, researchers published a paper in the American Journal of Transplantation (AJT), highlighting the critical need for a national surgical quality improvement system for transplantation and sharing how general surgery centers were seeing significant improvements after participating in NSQIP. Their call for transplant-specific standardized quality improvement tools set the stage for NSQIP Transplant.  

Benefits of NSQIP Transplant

Proven reduction in Complications; Centers engaged in NSQIP have historically witnessed a reduction in complications, translating to significant cost savings—approximately $8,300 for each avoided complication. [EB1] [DM2] 

Enhanced Data Ownership: Transplant centers participating in NSQIP Transplant gain ownership of their data, supported by comprehensive training, testing, and auditing of Surgical Case Reviewers. Access to a robust data platform facilitates comparative analysis with different benchmarks, while collaborative opportunities across transplant programs and the ability to identify areas for improvement result in significant cost savings.

How is NSQIP Different?

  • Unlike other programs, NSQIP Transplant is risk adjusted. Without risk stratification, you cannot accurately compare your center’s performance with other programs.
  • . Patient and donor variables specific to transplantation are already factored in.
  • The data is sourced directly from patient medical charts completed by trained Surgical Case Reviewers, NOT from insurance claims, billing, or administrative databases.
  • The results are only given to participating transplant centers.

Accurate Outcome Data

To be a competitive transplant center, you must have accurate outcome data. NSQIP Transplant meticulously measures outcomes such as:

  • Length of stay;
  • Readmissions (not just at your center but other centers);
  • Reoperations/interventions;
  • Wound complications, SSI, deep infections;
  • Number of days in hospital in first 365 post op;
  • Number of ICU days;
  • Transfusions;
  • Biliary/ureteral, vascular other specific complication; and
  • MI/PE/pneumonia/UTI.

Learn more and commit your transplant center to participating in NSQIP Transplant by visiting the NSQIP website. For more information, email Emily Besser, MA, CAE, Associate Director, Advocacy at


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi