Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care in the state of Alabama.
Richard Stahl, M.D., Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery director at UAB Hospital, today announced its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014, ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers pre-operative and postoperative care designed specifically for its severely obese patients.
“Our commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership of surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes,” Stahl said of the program, which is housed in the Department of Surgery in UAB’s School of Medicine. “We seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes for our patients.”
To earn the MBSAQIP designation, UAB Hospital met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure, and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement. The standards are specified in the MBSAQIP Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014, published by the ACS and ASMBS.
After submitting an application, centers seeking MBSAQIP accreditation undergo an extensive site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the center’s structure, process and clinical outcomes data. Each center is awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the types of procedures it provides and whether it provides care for patients under age 18.
|Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proved to be effective in the reduction of co-morbid conditions related to severe obesity.|
In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health, 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, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proved to be effective in the reduction of co-morbid conditions related to severe obesity.
UAB’s Bariatric Program uses a set of general, baseline criteria for patient selection:
- Patient must be at least 18 years old.
- Patient must have a BMI of 40 or greater, or between 35 and 39 with a significant co-morbidity.
- Patient cannot have a contraindication to bariatric or major abdominal surgery.
Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded its quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care. Nakia McMullen, clinical care coordinator for Bariatric Surgery, states the surveyor recognized several best practices at UAB, including the support of patients from UAB’s Weight Loss Medicine Clinic, PharmD medication teaching prior to discharge and the electronic medical record’s Early Warning System.
Visit UAB Bariatric Surgery online to learn more about the services it provides.