Importance of Quality Healthcare
The Importance of Quality Healthcare in Bariatric Surgery

The successful re-accreditation of the Bariatric Surgery Programs at Jeanes and Temple University Hospitals reminded me of the importance of quality healthcare.

Often, when affected by ailments, we visit our doctors. On occasion, we require medication or surgical procedures. Most of those times, our minds become overwhelmed with the “what if” related to the condition, the medications, or the procedure itself. Very rarely do we take time to think of the quality profile of the organization where we would be getting treatment or the delivery of care.

importance of quality healthcare

Bariatric Accreditation for Quality Healthcare

It is important to know that hospitals, as well as, physicians are measured and held accountable for the safety and quality of the care they deliver. A way for surgeons to remain accountable and to continually improve both their knowledge and surgical skills is by maintaining their board certification. Other ways include participating in Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses and obtaining certifications, such as becoming fellows of prestigious organizations in surgical care.

Hospitals participate in quality improvement programs, such as the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®).  This program is a nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care.  Built by surgeons, for surgeons, ACS NSQIP provides participating hospitals with tools, analyses, and reports to make informed decisions about improving quality of care.  Further, peer-reviewed studies have shown that ACS NSQIP is effective in improving the quality of surgical care while also reducing complications and costs.

Similarly, in my field of bariatric surgery, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) combined their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single unified program to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers, the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®). MBSAQIP works to advance safety, high quality care for bariatric surgical patients through the accreditation of bariatric surgical centers. The implementation of this program resulted in an 89% risk reduction of 5 year mortality in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery.  A bariatric surgical center achieves accreditation following a rigorous review process during which it proves that it can maintain certain physical resources, human resources, and standards of practice. All accredited centers report their outcomes to the MBSAQIP database.

We also encourage bariatric providers to monitor their own performance as it relates to the volume and type of procedures they perform. In doing so, they can gain greater insight into their bariatric program and overall efficiency within their medical specialty.

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Hospitals understand the importance of quality healthcare programs that monitor different domains such as:

  • Patient safety:  This category focuses on reducing preventable errors through such basics as hand hygiene, reporting errors, and using patient safety checklists.
  • Quality:  This domain covers efforts to improve health care services and patient outcomes. Competency in this area means knowing how to test the effects of small changes and recognizing when health care delivery is fragmented or fundamentally wasteful.

Some of these accrediting programs include Healthgrades, The Joint Commission, and Leapfrog. Good ranking among these accrediting bodies ensures a reduced risk of medical errors and bad outcomes, improving patient safety.  As physicians, we encourage patients to review the quality, safety, and outcomes of their doctor’s office.

Original post by Dr. Eric Velazquez on

Eric Velazquez, MD
Dr. Eric Velazquez has more than a decade of experience as a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon. He joined Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management after working as a surgeon at Temple Health in Philadelphia, PA, where he also served as Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery and Medical Director for Bariatric Surgery at Temple University Hospital.
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