Article - ACS Surgery Recognition

Thu, 12/09/2021 - 09:09 -- Anonymous (not verified)

     Our surgical services department recently received recognition and commendation for participating as a pilot site for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Rural Surgery Verification Program. The ACS is developing the program to address specific needs of surgery programs in rural hospitals and communities in an effort to help them organize and maximize resources to build the best surgical programs possible. Through Dr. Tyler Hughes, former general surgeon at McPherson Hospital and current secretary of the ACS, McPherson was recommended as a pilot site that could help the ACS develop their certification program.

      Director of Surgical Services Lynette Dyer, RN, spent countless hours preparing all the documentation from the 120 page directive in the certification manual, with help from many departments. The process also included production of a video that tracked the patient experience from an initial clinic visit all the way through the discharge process.

      “We were the third site to be studied,” she said. “The purpose of the program is to allow us to examine quality and safety in our practices. The review process is to provide detailed documentation on at least 25 actual cases followed by a two day visit from a review team. This was definitely an effort that touched many departments, so I appreciate everyone who provided information to help us with this achievement.”

      Due to COVID restrictions, the “site” visit ended up being virtual, but the content was the same as if the review team was actually on site. “During the visit, we ended up with an emergency case requiring Dr. Fetsch to perform a procedure,” Dyer said. “Dr. Bret Heskett stepped in at the last minute under extremely difficult circumstances and did a tremendous job responding to challenging questions about our processes.”

      Dyer says though the review team was impressed with our standards and what we accomplish here, we learned some things that will be valuable moving forward. “We have lots of data and are beginning to learn how to extract those elements in order to use it to our advantage so we can improve.” She said that we are held to the same standards as larger hospitals so we need to make sure that we are meeting and exceeding those standards in order to provide the best outcomes for our patients.

      Once finalized by the ACS, the rural surgery verification program will be offered to any rural hospital who wishes to participate. Dyer says it will be a 3-year renewal of the certifications.