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

About Children’s Surgery Verification

About

The American College of Surgeons (ACS), in collaboration with the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care, developed standards to improve surgical care for children surgical patients. These standards have led the development of the Children’s Surgery Verification Program and are the nation’s first and only multispecialty standards for children’s surgical care.

Mission

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.

 

 

History

Development

In 2013, the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care was created with the support of the ACS. The task force was composed of a multidisciplinary group of leaders in children’s surgical care and participation of ACS leadership. The group assembled in-person to develop standards on four different occasions. This effort was driven by the observation that while children’s surgical care delivered today is often excellent, quality can be inconsistent. Suboptimal outcomes do occur periodically and perhaps systematically related to a mismatch between an individual child’s needs and institutional resources.

Standards

The focus of the task force was to develop optimal resource standards to yield improvements in outcomes associated with children’s surgical care. These standards were based on published evidence when available and expert consensus when not. The task force concluded its work following the initial draft of the standards document in late 2014. These standards were supported by the American Pediatric Surgical Association and the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia. This document went through substantial and detailed revision subsequently, incorporating input from across the provider and institutional spectrum. Following the release of the draft standards document, a pilot phase was launched in the spring of 2015. The final standards document Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care was published on the ACS website in December 2015.

Pilot Phase

The pilot launched in April 2015. The six volunteer pilot centers were diverse organizations that expressed an early interest in undergoing the pilot process: three of these centers were freestanding children’s hospitals, two were hospitals within hospitals, and one was a potential Level II center. Pilot site visits were conducted by members of the Verification Committee and four additional surveyors. The pilot surveyor teams consisted of between two to four children’s surgeons, a pediatric anesthesiologist, and, at times, a pediatric nurse. The information derived was used to help finalize the Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care document. The lessons learned during the pilot phase and the standards document are the basis for a Pre-Review Questionnaire, which serves as the data collection platform and application for the ACS Children’s Surgery Verification Program. The pilot phase concluded in 2016.