Surgical complications take an immeasurable toll on patients and their families. Yet a substantial proportion of those complications are preventable. AHRQ has improved the safety of surgery through its Safety Program for Surgery, a national implementation project in which approximately 200 hospitals successfully reduced surgical site infections. AHRQ also funded a 4-year Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery to reduce healthcare-associated infections and other surgical complications in 665 U.S. ambulatory surgery centers.

Following are toolkits developed by these programs, as well as other AHRQ tools, research, and resources to improve the safety of surgery.

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Toolkit To Promote Safe Surgery
This toolkit from the AHRQ Safety Program for Surgery helps perioperative and surgical units in hospitals identify opportunities to improve their care and safety practices and implement evidence-based interventions to prevent surgical site infections. .

Toolkit To Improve Safety in Ambulatory Care Centers
Ambulatory surgery centers can use this toolkit to apply the proven principles and methods of AHRQ's Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to prevent surgical site infections and other complications and improve safety culture in their facilities.

CAHPS® Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey
This survey from AHRQ's Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems program assesses the experiences of adult patients who receive care in Medicare-certified hospital outpatient surgery departments and ambulatory surgery centers.

Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey on Patient Safety Culture
This AHRQ Survey on Patient Safety Culture™ asks ambulatory surgery care staff at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-certified ambulatory surgery centers for their opinions about the culture of patient safety in their facility.


AHRQ's Patient Safety Network includes numerous studies on improving surgical safety that range from improving communications and the culture of safety to human factors engineering.


Getting Ready for Your Ambulatory Surgery
This booklet provides tip for patients who are having ambulatory surgery.

Surgeries in Hospital-Based Ambulatory Surgery and Hospital Inpatient Settings
This statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project presents national data on surgeries performed in two hospital settings: hospital inpatient and hospital-based ambulatory surgery settings. Comparisons of ambulatory surgery with inpatient surgery can be useful in the evaluation of use patterns, post-surgical complications, hospital cost savings, and patient experience-of-care surveys.

AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery
This collaborative program aims to help hospitals and clinicians use AHRQ's Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to enhance the surgical process and improve patients' recovery after surgery.

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