Saline Memorial Hospital Achieves National Accreditation from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program


Benton, AR (Oct. 11, 2017) – 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 in the greater Central Arkansas area. 

Dr. Kristin Patton, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Saline Memorial Hospital, today announced its bariatric surgical center has been accredited as a Comprehensive 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).

“We are so pleased at this news today,” said Dr. Kristin Patton, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Saline Memorial Hospital. “This could not have happened without the commitment of everyone at Saline Memorial. This accreditation is a huge step in quality improvement which can only make our program safer for patients and that is our number one goal. We are proud to offer a comprehensive, patient-centered weight loss program to the people of Arkansas.” 

The MBSAQIP Standards, outlined in the Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2016, 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.

“At Saline Memorial, we feel we have the best to offer Arkansans,” said Judi Garrett, Saline Memorial Bariatric Coordinator.  “This national accreditation in bariatric surgery means we are in line with the best surgical practices in the country for bariatric surgery. It is a rigid set of standards that the hospital, nurses and the bariatric surgeons must adhere to. We have an amazing support team for our patients and are grateful to everyone who helped us reach this milestone!”

“A comprehensive approach is so important for obesity to ensure success and safety for patients,” said Patton. “Patients all get thorough medical evaluations, which may include cardiology and pulmonology, a sleep study, nutrition evaluation – which is ongoing, and a psychological evaluation. Patients have to understand and pass all these evaluations before we will do surgery. Now that we are accredited, more insurance companies will cover procedures and surgeries.”

Saline Memorial Hospital’s commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and the leadership of surgeons Dr. Kristin Patton, Dr. Rex Luttrell and Dr. Lewis Porter, who participate in meetings throughout the year to review its outcomes.  They seek continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, the Weight Loss Center 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 2016, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

“It’s no secret that obesity continues to be an important issue in Arkansas and Saline County,” said Bob Trautman, CEO of Saline Memorial Hospital. “The state has one of the highest adult obesity rates in the nation. Saline Memorial Hospital has met the issue of obesity head on. The hospital opened the Saline Memorial Weight Loss Center in 2013, providing patients with a local solution for long-term weight loss. This accreditation allows us to continue our commitment to quality that has earned the confidence, respect and trust of patients making a lifetime commitment to healthier living.”

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.

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.  


*Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, et al. Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2004;292(14):1724-1737. DOI:10.1001/jama.292.14.1724.


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