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Cleveland Clinic Florida's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute Earns Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons

June 8, 2010

The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic Florida has been re-accredited as a Level 1b facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This designation means that Cleveland Clinic Florida has met the essential criteria that ensure it is fully capable of supporting a bariatric surgery care program and that its institutional performance meets the requirements outlined by the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program.

Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute was the first hospital-based weight-loss surgery program in Florida to earn level 1 accreditation from the Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program in 2007. The institute is also accredited as a Center of Excellence by the Surgical Review Corporation of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

“Drs. Raul Rosenthal and Samuel Szomstein and their entire team have once again achieved the highest level of recognition within the medical community for excellence in weight-loss surgery,” said Bernie Fernandez, MD, chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute exemplifies how Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of medicine promotes excellence in health care by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, psychologists, and registered dieticians who work to guide patients through a weight-loss journey that begins with surgery.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 in an effort to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide not only the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients, but also the support and resources that are necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from the pre-hospital phase through the postoperative care and treatment process.

There are four categories of accreditation for inpatient facilities (Level 1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b) and one level for outpatient surgical care facilities. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of accreditation. Each hospital undergoes onsite verification by experienced bariatric surgeons, who review the center’s structure, process, and quality of data using the current ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline in conducting the survey. Because high-quality surgical care requires documentation using reliable measurements of outcomes, accredited bariatric surgery centers are required to report their bariatric surgery outcomes data either to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) or the College’s BSCN Database, using a Web-based data entry system.

Since the creation of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic Florida in July of 2001, Drs. Rosenthal and Szomstein have collectively performed more than 3,500 bariatric procedures. In addition to their busy surgical practice, they have trained 33 fellows, hosted numerous visiting surgeons from all over the world; and published more than 180 articles in a variety of peer reviewed medical and surgical journals based on research performed at the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Frequent presenters at regional, national and international symposia and contributors to numerous medical textbooks, they are active members of several committees in widely respected surgical societies, as well as members of several editorial boards for key publications in the medical and surgical literature.

Cleveland Clinic Florida, located in Weston and West Palm Beach, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic Florida has nearly 180 physicians with expertise in 35 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery, and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital, which was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters. The hospital was also designated by Thomson Reuters one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® in cardiovascular care (2007, 2008, 2009) and one of America’s Best Hospitals for gynecology by U.S. News & World Report. Cleveland Clinic Florida is 1 of only 13 hospitals in the nation recognized at the Gold level of the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines program for Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure and Stroke. Cleveland Clinic Florida is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose.