Reducing surgical site infection by 74 percent: Machine learning and quality improvement

May 21st, 2018 / By L. Gordon Moore, MD

Dr. John Cromwell1 is a colorectal surgeon interested in computers and machine learning. He believed that computers could sift vast amounts of data to inform surgeons on ways to reduce post-operative infection rates. By assessing patient demographics, diagnoses, highs and lows of blood pressure and temperature and more, his algorithms helped him reduce infection rates by 74 percent.2

I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Cromwell about his work, machine learning, and the challenges and opportunities in quality improvement. His thoughts and comments are fascinating as he describes us living at an inflection point in healthcare quality. Listen to my conversation with Dr. Cromwell in our latest Inside Angle podcast episode.

L. Gordon Moore, MD, is Senior Medical Director, Clinical Strategy and Value-based Care for 3M Health Information Systems. 


1 John W. Cromwell MD is Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Iowa where he serves as the Associate Chief Medical Officer, Director of Surgical Quality & Safety, Director of the Division of Gastrointestinal, Minimally-Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, and faculty in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Health Informatics.

2 http://www.himssconference.org/sites/himssconference/files/pdf/164.pdf