The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has designated Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center, a verification of excellence that is held by fewer than 50 children’s hospitals in the United States.
Developed by ACS and the national Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care, the Children’s Surgery Verification program established the nation’s first and only multispecialty standards for the surgical care of infants and children. These evidence-based standards represent expert consensus, and are also supported by the American Pediatric Surgical Association and the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s is the third children’s hospital in Florida and the only one in the Tampa Bay region to achieve Level 1 verification. In addition, Johns Hopkins All Children’s is the only facility in the Johns Hopkins Health System with this designation.
“Level 1 verification for children’s surgery tells families and physicians that a center has the expertise, facilities, capabilities and processes to provide safe, high-quality surgical care to children,” says Paul Danielson, M.D., FACS, chair of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. “The verification program is based on other nationally recognized American College of Surgeons programs that have measurably improved surgical quality and have prevented complications, reduced costs and saved lives.”
Verified centers ensure that children facing surgery receive care under a multidisciplinary program with quality improvement and safety processes, data collection, and appropriate resources provided to them as patients at the hospital. This commitment to quality care begins with appropriately trained staff and leadership from surgeons who participate in meetings throughout the year to review the center’s surgical outcomes. The surgical team seeks continuous improvement to enhance the structure, process, and outcomes of the center, and participates in a national data registry.
After Johns Hopkins All Children’s submitted its application, an experienced survey team from the ACS conducted an extensive site visit to ensure that the center meets essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure and protocols for care.
“This achievement recognizes the capabilities of our surgical programs and the team’s commitment to excellence,” notes Alicia Schulhof, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital president. “It also acknowledges our role as an organization to be leaders for our region when it comes to safe and effective surgical care for kids.”
Danielson and Nicole Chandler, M.D., FACS, chief of the hospital’s division of pediatric general surgery, serve as co-chairs of the verified Children’s Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s. Alex Willoughby, M.S.N, R.N., is the program manager, Jessica Siebold, B.S.N., R.N., serves as the surgical clinical reviewer for the Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), and Laurie Stone, M.S., R.N., is the quality adviser.
“Level 1 verification represents a great achievement,” Danielson adds. “I want to especially recognize Dr. Chandler and Alex for all of their efforts toward this goal.”