News From the College

New standards for children’s surgery verification released



The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program recently released its latest standards document, Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care. These standards, developed by the ACS in collaboration with the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care from 2012 through 2014, are the nation’s first and only multispecialty standards that seek to improve surgical care for pediatric surgical patients.

“This is the first time that there has been a formal delineation of resource standards that relate specifically to children’s surgical care across all relevant disciplines,” said Keith T. Oldham, MD, FACS, chair, Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program, and surgeon in chief, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The pilot phase of the program launched in April 2015. Within 1 month, six pilot site visits were completed at diverse institutions nationwide. The final document includes revisions to the 2014 draft standards and updates from lessons learned during the pilot phase of the program, such as the need for alternative training pathways for anesthesiology, emergency medicine, and radiology. The new standards also clearly define the safety data elements required for all level designations.

The new standards document comes in advance of the online application – a prereview questionnaire for centers seeking designation through the Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program – expected to launch later this year.

“The standards presented in this document are the basis for the Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program, for which the ACS will visit centers periodically and verify that relevant standards are met and related quality improvement mechanisms are in place,” Dr. Oldham said.

To access the standards, visit

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