Ocean Medical Center Achieves National Accreditation for Bariatric Surgery Program

January 28, 2016

Ocean Medical Center Achieves National Accreditation from Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program

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 Central Jersey region. The accreditation of Ocean’s bariatric surgery program is an elite status, and one that has been earned by all four Meridian hospitals that offer this specialized type of weight loss surgery.

Anil Pahuja, M.D., medical director of the bariatric surgery program at Ocean, recently received the exciting news that Ocean’s 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).

The MBSAQIP Standards ensure that bariatric surgical patients receive a multi-disciplinary 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.

“This designation affirms the outstanding care and services provided at Ocean,” says Dr. Pahuja. “The entire bariatric surgery team should be commended for the quality and compassionate care that they provide to each patient, which is truly changing lives every day.” Ocean’s team of specialists includes cardiologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, nutritionists and behavioral health specialists. These specialists work closely with the bariatric surgeons to develop an individualized plan of care designed to ensure weight-loss success for each patient.

To earn the MBSAQIP designation, Ocean met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity. An extensive site visit is conducted, and 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 2014, published by the ACS and ASMBS.

“Individuals considering weight loss surgery should research their options and look for a hospital with accreditation,” says Dr. Pahuja. “There is a great deal to consider when it comes to this specialized type of surgery. Understanding your options and having support are key factors to success.”

MeridianWeightless.com is a free online resource that can help individuals explore their options, attend free lectures, learn about healthy living, and find support from others who are considering or have had weight-loss surgery. Information about the experienced weight-loss surgeons at Ocean Medical Center, as well as those at Meridian’s other facilities, and patient testimonials can be found on MeridianWeightless.com. To learn more about the Center for Weight-Loss Surgery at Ocean Medical Center, call 732-836-4339.

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.

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*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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About Ocean Medical Center

Standing out as a premier medical center along the Jersey Shore, Ocean Medical Center is home to exceptional talent, state-of-the-art technologies, and a growing medical campus, all surrounded by a community that offers quality of life for individuals and families of all ages. Ocean is a 315-bed non-profit community hospital located in Brick, New Jersey that provides health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines. Some key services include designation as a Primary Stroke Center; brain lab and neurological surgery; DaT Scan and advanced imaging technology; DaVinci robotic surgery; general, thoracic, and vascular surgery; comprehensive cancer care and radiation therapy technologies; a Joint Commission accredited orthopedic program; one of the nation’s most advanced cardiac catheterization laboratories and cardiac services; maternity, Acute Care of the Elderly, and critical care services. The Medical Center recently completed a four-level expansion that has transformed the campus through an $82 million project that sets a foundation for future decades of growth. The main component of the project is a new 44,300 sq. ft. Emergency Department. The Medical Center features Magnet award winning nurses who work in collaboration with the medical staff, and is a System Partner, along with the other Meridian Health facilities, with the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Ocean Medical Center also operates the state’s first Satellite Emergency Department in Point Pleasant, called the Ocean Care Center. The Medical Center has grown tremendously since opening in 1984 and is well positioned to evolve and respond to the changing community and health care landscape.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, founded in 1983, was formed to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases through educational and support programs for surgeons and integrated health professionals.