Wyoming Medical Center achieves national accreditation for weight-loss surgery
By Kristy Bleizeffer Mar 9, 2017
Wyoming 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.
Kevin Helling, M.D., medical director of bariatric surgery, announced that WMC has been accredited as a Comprehensive Bariatric 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).
“I am proud to say that we are now the only accredited center for bariatric surgery in the entire state of Wyoming,” said Dr. Helling. “Our presence as a regional referral center for bariatric surgery and other specialty services continues to grow. That is only possible because of the excellent effort put in by our excellent medical staff.”
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.
Excellent care, nationally recognized
The hospital’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review outcomes. They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.
To earn the MBSAQIP designation, WMC 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. 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.
Obesity is a disease
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.
American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, founded in 1983, was formed to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases through educational and support programs for surgeons and integrated health professionals.
Dr. Kevin Helling is a board-certified general surgeon with a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and weight-loss surgery at Harvard University. He is medical director of Wyoming Medical Center’s bariatric surgery program. He has authored numerous publications and textbook chapters, and he has presented his research at national and local scientific meetings. He practices at Wyoming Surgical Associates in Casper.