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

Enrollment Is Open for the ACS Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program

The new program’s standards to improve surgical care for children are the nation’s first and only multispecialty standards of their kind

NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHICAGO (January 31, 2017): Hospitals interested in enrolling in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Children’s Surgery Verification (CSV) Quality Improvement Program may now file a Pre-Application online for participation in the program. ACS, in collaboration with the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care, developed standards to improve surgical care for children who are surgical patients, which led to the development of this program. The standards are supported by the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The CSV program was developed to improve the quality of children’s surgical care by creating a system that allows for a prospective match of every child’s individual surgical needs with a care environment that has optimal pediatric resources. Interested hospitals are welcome to complete the Pre-Application, but must first meet all criteria outlined in the standards document, Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care v.1. 

Hospitals must also intend to actively pursue verification for the verification level sought prior to submitting a Pre-Application. The program evaluates three levels of care, aligned to the standards and expected scope of practice at the hospital, and it verifies these standards have been met.

 “We are excited that more than 120 institutions have expressed interest in enrolling in this program, and I think, overall, it will make a big difference in ensuring that kids will ultimately get better surgical care,” said Keith Oldham, MD, FACS, Chair and Medical Director of the CSV program and surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The standards document was finalized based on the pilot phase of this program, which began in April 2015 with six sites representing various hospital sizes, types, and verification levels. When the pilot was successfully completed in the fall of 2016, experiences at the sites and with surveyors confirmed that the standards were applicable, clear, and measurable. Five of the pilot sites are currently verified by the ACS as Level I Children’s Surgery Centers.

In addition to the current standards, the pilot phase led to the finalized Pre-Review Questionnaire (PRQ). The PRQ ensures sites applying for verification are compliant with all standards.

After submitting an application, hospitals seeking verification undergo an extensive site visit by an ACS team of surveyors, which consist of experienced pediatric surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists, and pediatric nurses who review each center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data.

“This program builds on our established success with surgical quality improvement. It has been developed to ensure that hospitals have the optimal resources to match the needs of children throughout the entire operative care process,” said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS.  “Participating hospitals will be able to raise the bar on surgical quality for their young patients and we welcome their participation in this innovative program.”

 A hospital must meet essential criteria for staffing, training, and facility infrastructure and protocols for care to become a verified center. Level I and II centers must also participate in the ACS NSQIP Pediatric program, which yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, thus identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

The Pre-Application is available online.

 For further information, please contact childrenssurgery@facs.org.

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.

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