American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Geriatric Surgery Verification Program

Introducing the ACS Geriatric Surgery Verification Program

July 19, 2019

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Geriatric Surgery Verification (GSV) Program presents 30 new surgical standards designed to systematically improve surgical care and outcomes for the aging adult population. The standards provide a framework for hospitals to take an interdisciplinary approach to continuously optimize surgical care for older adults.

With support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, the standards were collaboratively developed by the ACS Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery Project, composed of more than 50 stakeholder organizations representing the needs of older patients and families, advocacy and regulatory groups, health care professionals, and multiple medical and surgical specialties.

Preparing Now to Care for More Older Adults Facing Surgery

Today, 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65 every day. The U.S. Census Bureau projects the number of older adults to grow by 55 percent from 2010 to 2050, eventually making up 21 percent of the population.1 Currently, older adults account for more than 40 percent of all inpatient operations, and 33 percent of outpatient procedures performed annually in the U.S. This number will grow as the population ages, and the need for surgical services concurrently rises.2-3

Building the Right Infrastructure, Setting the Standards

The GSV Program will help hospitals of any size prepare for the influx of older adults considering surgery with care standards that define the resources hospitals need to have in place to perform operations effectively, efficiently, and safely in this vulnerable population. The standards take into account that older adults have distinct physical and social vulnerabilities, as well as unique goals for their care, that warrant a more thorough and individualized approach to surgery.

The standards outline processes for systematically improving older adult surgical care, including, but not limited to:

  • Improving communications with patients before surgical procedures to focus on outcomes that matter most to the patient
  • Screening for geriatric vulnerabilities
  • Better management of medications
  • Providing geriatric-friendly rooms
  • Ensuring proper staffing is in place

Getting Started

The GSV Program standards are publicly available on the ACS website for hospitals to download and review before the national enrollment process opens. It is scheduled to begin in late October 2019 during the ACS Clinical Congress.

For further information, contact


  1. Bureau UC. 65+ in the United States: 2010. Accessed June 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control. National Hospital Discharge Survey: Number of All-Listed Procedures for Discharges from Short-Stay Hospitals, by Procedure Category and Age: United States, 2010. Available at:, 2010. Accessed June 2019.
  3. Hall MJ. Ambulatory Surgery Data From Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers: United States, 2010. 2017;(102):15.

GSV Standards

Read the standards. Learn how to systematically improve the quality of care for older adults facing surgery.

  Learn more

Care Has Come of Age

Video launch of the GSV Program

Introducing the American College of Surgeons Geriatric Surgery Verification (GSV) Program.