COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center’s bariatric surgical program, under the leadership of bariatric surgeon Charles Huddleston, M.D., 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).
MBSAQIP standards ensure bariatric surgical patients receive a multidisciplinary program, not just a surgical procedure, which improves outcomes and long-term success. The accredited center offers preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for those severely obese.
“We have worked diligently to develop a bariatric surgery program at CRMC that provides support for the patient from the time that they consider surgery to after surgery,” Huddleston said. “We provide a comprehensive program that focuses on education and support throughout the entire process. We have a specialized team of professionals who are dedicated to our patients. To see someone get the benefits that come with weight loss following bariatric surgery is so very rewarding.”
CRMC staff and leadership surgeons 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, CRMC 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.
“Patients in the Upper Cumberland who are seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions can rest assured that Cookeville Regional Medical Center offers a high quality program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care for weight loss surgery,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “We are proud of the efforts and dedication of Dr. Huddleston and our staff in developing this program.”
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 U.S., 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 commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven 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 it can assist bariatric patients in identifying centers that provide optimal surgical care.
CRMC hosts free monthly information sessions for individuals considering weight loss surgery. The hour-long sessions cover obesity, types of surgery, expectation of each surgery, the cost of obesity and next steps in considering surgery. The seminars are held every second Monday of each month from 6-7 p.m. in the CRMC Education Center. For more information, call (931) 783-2030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.