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The bariatric surgery department at St. Thomas More Hospital (STMH) has been accredited as a Level II facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 in an effort to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide not only the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients, but also the support and resources that are necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from the pre-hospital phase through the postoperative care and treatment process.
"Most health insurance companies require a facility to be accredited in bariatric surgery in order to cover the cost of the procedure," said Tim Brown, M.D., bariatric surgeon at STMH. "So as a center for bariatric surgery, STMH now provides more residents in Fremont County the opportunity to have weight loss procedures performed locally."
St. Thomas More in Cañon City has consistently performed up to 80 bariatric surgery cases per year since 2003 with excellent outcomes, low re-admission rates, and low complication rates. We are committed to providing excellent care for bariatric patients, and have developed specialized operating rooms, intensive care unit rooms and patient rooms to specifically accommodate the needs of bariatric patients.
There are four categories of accreditation for inpatient facilities (Level 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b) and one level for outpatient surgical care facilities. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of accreditation. Each hospital undergoes onsite verification by experienced bariatric surgeons, who review the center's structure, process, and quality of data using the current ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline in conducting the survey. Because high-quality surgical care requires documentation using reliable measurements of outcomes, accredited bariatric surgery centers are required to report their bariatric surgery outcomes data either to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) or the College's BSCN Database, using a Web-based data entry system.
In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. At the present time, weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. Therefore, the ACS believes it is of utmost importance to extend its quality initiatives to accrediting bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist the public in identifying those facilities that provide optimal surgical care for patients who undergo this surgical procedure.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 77,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
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