NSQIP is a healthcare improvement program designed by the American College of Surgeons and first adopted by the Veterans Health Administration in the 1990s.
Dedicated teams of non-surgeons were selected to gather operative morbidity and mortality statistics. After implementation of the program, morbidity (complications) and mortality (deaths) were decreased 45% and 27% respectively in the VA system.
It has now been widely adopted in non-governmental hospitals to effect better outcomes and to evaluate both individual surgical programs and hospitals as a whole. It allows objective comparisons between hospitals.
One drawback of NSQIP is that it measures outcomes only after patients have undergone surgery and does not capture outcomes data for patients who may be admitted to a surgical service but who do not undergo surgery (e.g., trauma patients.)