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New Accreditation Standards Released for WLS Centers

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) have released the first set of standards for their new joint accreditation program, the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).

The new standards take effect on May 1, 2014, and were developed to guide the accreditation process for inpatient and outpatient weight loss surgery centers in the United States and Canada.

MBSAQIP accreditation standards create a “national unified program around which all MBSAQIP participating centers will comply.” Studies have shown that those who undergo weight loss surgery at accredited facilities do much better than those who don’t.

Seven Standards for MBSAQIP Accreditation

MBSAQIP-accredited centers must meet seven core standards, plus two additional standards that are specific to gastric banding center and adolescent center accreditation.

The 7 main standards are:

  1. A set number of procedures performed per year based on the type of center/ patient selection. Weight loss surgery candidates treated at these centers must be stable and the surgeries should be considered non-urgent and approved by center designation level.
  2. Commitment to quality care
  3. Appropriate equipment and instruments on hand
  4. Critical care support such as access to life support and the ability to transfer patients to a hospital if necessary.
  5. Continuum of care such as patient education, support groups and follow-up care
  6. Data collection
  7. Continuous quality improvement efforts

As part of the accreditation process, an MBSAQIP-trained metabolic and bariatric surgeon surveyor conducts an on-site visit. During these visits, centers are verified against the pre-specified criteria

These standards are published in the online document Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014.