LACONIA — 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 greater Lakes Region area.
Dr. Raza M. Shariff, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery director at Weight Institute of New Hampshire (WINH), a department of LRGHealthcare, has announced its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Low Acuity 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 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 preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for their severely obese patients. "We are very happy to offer this service to our community and proud that we meet and even exceed the national standards," said Dr. Shariff.
WINH's commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff, leadership, and a bariatric surgeon who participates in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes. It seeks continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.
To earn the MBSAQIP designation, WINH 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.
LRGHealthcare Director of WINH, Carole Domin, MBA RDN LD CDE says, "I am very proud of our program. We have worked hard to create a comprehensive program that not only meets all of the MBSAQIP national standards, but goes above and beyond with a commitment and focus on lifestyle and behavior change. We work closely with our patients, partnering with them throughout this very challenging and personal journey."
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. "The surgeon that did our site visit spoke highly of our patient centered program. He stated our program is built for success and has qualified for low acuity accreditation with flying colors," said Domin. 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. 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.