HomePatient EducationWeight Loss Surgery Centers Strive to Become ‘Centers of Excellence’ gwhqadmin August 30, 2009 Patient Education Weight loss surgery centers in the U.S. can apply to be designated “Centers of Excellence” by the ASMBS. So with 1000 applications, why have only 365 have been approved? Bariatric surgery centers in the U.S. can apply to be designated “Centers of Excellence” by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). So with 1000 applications, why have only 365 have been approved? Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. Bariatric surgery now has some welcome checks and balances from the Surgical Review Corporation. For the past five years, this independent, nonprofit organization has used a list of criteria to assess safety and quality in determining “Centers of Excellence.” More than a thousand bariatric surgery centers have sought its seal of approval; so far, only about a third has it. The corporation administers the “Center of Excellence” program on behalf of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The centers are measured based on the experience of their surgeons; the accreditation of their surgeons and hospital; the volume of their surgeries; the thoroughness of their bariatric surgery program; and the level of quality their equipment meets when it comes to dealing with obese patients. “Those that have the ‘ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence’ designation perform better in terms of short-term outcomes and long-term outcomes,” said Jacqueline Lueck Sneve, vice-president of the corporation’s Strategic Alliances arm. Right now, only 365 American bariatric centers and 600 surgeons have been named to the “Centers of Excellence” program. But one advantage to giving this designation to a hospital is that it enables the corporation to enter that hospital’s surgical patient information into its new Bariatric Outcomes Longitudinal Database (BOLD). This database, legally regulated for patient confidentiality, allows the corporation to review the quality and progress of the bariatric center. “We can use it to provide feedback for the surgeons and improve what they do,” she said. To find a nearby Center of Excellence, visit www.surgicalreview.org or www.asmbs.org.