Two new ACS verification programs cast a wider net to ensure quality for all surgical patients

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is expanding its suite of verification programs to better meet the needs of surgeons and patients. The two new programs include the ACS Quality Verification Program (ACS QVP) and the ACS Geriatric Surgery Verification (ACS GSV) Program.

Verifying quality across the house of surgery

The ACS QVP is based on Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety, or the “Red Book,” the surgical quality how-to manual gleaned from the knowledge of hundreds of surgeon content experts and the ACS’ experience working with the 3,000 hospitals that currently participate in ACS Quality Programs. The Red Book establishes an overarching framework to ensure that quality resources and infrastructure improve care for all surgical patients.

The ACS QVP takes core elements of the Red Book to establish standards and a process for verification that aims to establish a surgical quality program that improves efficiency, care, and value for all surgical patients across all divisions of surgery within the hospital. It is designed to establish a comprehensive surgical quality program at both the hospital level and across hospital systems and networks. Participating hospitals have found this verification process to be essential to establishing and improving their hospitals’ organizational infrastructure for surgical quality.

Twelve standards create the foundation for surgical quality

Twelve salient elements of surgical quality have been adapted from the Red Book manual into standards that form the foundation of the ACS QVP. These standards span all surgical specialties to provide a road map for hospitals to build a successful surgical quality program—by establishing, measuring, and continuously improving their hospital’s infrastructure for surgical quality. Standards include detailed resources at both the hospital level and individual specialty level to guide surgical departments broadly and dive deeply into surgical quality in each specialty. Communication flow is an overarching theme, up and down from top-level administrators to frontline staff, as well as across specialties to minimize silos of quality.

Ultimately, the ACS QVP improves value for all surgical patients by helping hospitals do the following:

  • Find problems, identify opportunities
  • Fix problems
  • Provide standardized care
  • Use meaningful data

For more information about the program, visit the ACS QVP website.

Improving surgical quality for older adults

The ACS GSV Program aims to improve the quality of geriatric surgical care by creating a system that allows for a prospective match of every older adult’s individual surgical needs with a care environment that has the optimal resources for patients 75 years and older undergoing inpatient surgery. The program will prepare for the influx of older adults considering surgery with care standards that define the resources hospitals need to provide surgical services effectively, efficiently, and safely in this vulnerable population.

The ACS GSV Program is available to all hospitals in the U.S., regardless of size, location, or teaching status and offers institutional verification to sites that meet the prescribed standards. Sites can apply for verification at one of three levels: Level 1 Verification—Comprehensive Excellence, Level 2 Verification—Focused Excellence, and the Commitment Level. Hospitals seeking Level 1 or Level 2 Verification must demonstrate all 30 ACS GSV standards are in place through a comprehensive site visit. These visits will confirm hospitals comply with the required structure, processes, and standards of care as outlined by the program.

For more information about the program, visit the ACS GSV Program website.

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