Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Holyoke Medical Center Weight Management Program Achieves National Accreditation

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 western Massachusetts.

The Holyoke Medical Center's Weight Management Program, under the medical direction of Dr. Yannis Raftopoulos, 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 (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).
The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016 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 preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients.

"Less than a year from the first bariatric surgery offered at Holyoke Medical Center, the Weight Management Program has proven to meet the national quality and safety standards our patients deserve and have grown to expect," said Spiros Hatiras, President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems. "I extend my appreciation to the entire Weight Management Program and surgical team, in addition to everyone who has supported the program for their hard work and dedication."

Holyoke Medical Center's commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, Holyoke Medical Center developed and met essential criteria for staff training, care protocols and facility infrastructure , ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. The accreditation specifically noted two specific strengths of the program, which emphasize the hospital's focus on success for patients. 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 2016, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

"We are committed to supporting our patients for life, not just through the surgery process. We continue to offer individualized care, follow-up appointments, and support groups. I am happy that our team has been recognized for this accomplishment," says Dr. Raftopoulos. "In the first year of service, our patients have lost more weight after 6 months post-surgery than patients do nationally at 12 months."

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. Centers are awarded a specific designation depending on how many patients it serves annually, the type of procedures it provides, and whether it provides care for patients under age 18.

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 II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.* Working with ASMBS, the ACS expanded this quality program for bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist bariatric patients in identifying those centers that provide optimal surgical care.

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