The RMH Bariatric Surgery Center
has been accredited by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
This designation means that RMH has met the criteria that ensures it is fully capable of supporting a bariatric surgery care program and that its performance meets the requirements of the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program.
“The Center of Excellence accreditation from the American College of Surgeons is an important indicator of our dedication to providing the best, most comprehensive care in bariatric surgery available today,” said general surgeon Robert Garwood of Harrisonburg Surgical Associates, medical director of bariatric surgery at RMH.
The RMH Bariatric Surgery program was launched in December 2009.
The ACS BSCN Accreditation Program was established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care. ACS BSCN accreditation affirms 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 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.
“At RMH we have taken the team approach, using experts in all fields, including nutrition, psychology, exercise and, of course, surgery to provide patients with the full spectrum of care that they require to achieve their weight loss goals,” said Dr. Garwood
. “Patients’ interaction with these experts starts the moment they walk through the door and attend an educational seminar and continues as part of their care throughout.”
Each hospital undergoes an 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 guide in conducting the survey.
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. These include type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Presently, weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. The ACS believes it is important to extend its quality initiatives to accrediting bariatric surgery centers to help the public identify facilities that provide optimal surgical care.
“At RMH we are actually blessed by our relatively small size,” Dr. Garwood noted. “We are able to respond immediately to and care for our patients’ needs if and when they occur. And, more importantly, we are able to spend the extra time required to ensure that all our patients are successful in achieving safe, steady weight loss.”
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons. It 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. It is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
For those considering weight loss surgery
, the RMH Bariatric Surgery program offers a free informational seminar
. The seminar is available as an online video or as a 2-hour class at RMH. The next class will be held at 6-8 p.m. Jan. 21 in the RMH Hahn Medical Office Building first-floor conference room. To register, visit RMHBariatricSurgery.com
or call RMH Healthsource at 564-7200 or 1-800-564-7200.