Palm Beach Children’s Hospital Attains National Verification from the American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program

Mar 1, 2023

West Palm Beach, FL-March 1st, 2023 - Palm Beach Children’s Hospital has been verified as a Level II Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Children’s Surgery Verification (CSV) Quality Improvement Program, an established verification and quality improvement program designed to optimize the delivery of children’s surgical care.

The distinction recognizes the commitment of Palm Beach Children’s Hospital the first children’s hospital to obtain Level II verification from the program to provide the highest standards of care for children undergoing surgery. Across the country, 54 other children’s hospitals have obtained Level I verification through the CSV program.

“It brings us great pride that Palm Beach Children’s Hospital/SMMC, the historically go-to hospital for the sickest of children in Palm Beach County, is now recognized as delivering care commensurate with the standards of excellence set by the American College of Surgeons. This verification underscores our commitment to the quality and multidisciplinary approach to the care of the children of our community, who can be assured that we are consistently pushing to provide the best outcomes to our pediatric surgical patients,” said Dr. Anne Fischer, MD, PhD, FACS, Medical Director of Children’s Surgery at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. “We chose to become verified because our hospital’s mission is to deliver the highest quality healthcare services to our community which includes our pediatric surgical patients and their families. The ACS ensures that the hospital’s resources and pediatric-focused care correlate best with continually improving the outcomes for children with surgical needs.”

The CSV program, which launched in 2017, was developed to improve the quality of children’s surgical care by creating a system that allows for a prospective match of every child’s individual surgical needs with a care environment that delivers optimal pediatric resources. Verified centers must meet specific criteria and standards that are developed by the CSV program and based on evidence-based scientific methods that support the recommendations. These standards 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. 

The CSV program is based on other nationally recognized ACS quality improvement programs that have measurably improved surgical quality and have prevented complications, reduced costs, and saved lives.

 “An estimated 4 million children undergo surgical procedures in hospitals across the United States each year. The CSV program was designed to optimize the care of pediatric patients so that hospitals can deliver the best care for children undergoing surgery,” said Clifford Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care.  “This verification demonstrates the commitment of Palm Beach Children’s Hospital to providing pediatric surgical patients with high-quality, coordinated care as well as supportive services and resources addressing the full continuum of care for children in their communities.”

Palm Beach Children’s Hospital’s 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.

To become a verified center, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital met essential criteria for staffing, training, and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to appropriately care for children who are surgical patients. The center also participates in an international data registry that yields reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, which helps identify opportunities for continuous quality improvement. There are different levels of verification — including Levels I-III and specialty oncology or musculoskeletal levels — depending on the expected scope of services of the hospital.

According to the standards, a Level II children’s surgery center is a hospital capable of caring for pediatric patients with many complex issues, including common pediatric anomalies and diseases, but may have a more limited scope of service than a Level I hospital.

“From administration to professional services, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital has embraced excellence at every level of surgical care for children,” said Mary E. Fallat, MD, FACS, lead site visitor and the Co-Chair of the ACS Verification Committee. “Becoming a Level II facility requires an introspective look at the scope of services and a commitment to strengthening internal programs and training for children’s hospital professionals as well as establishing relationships with centers that can provide services not available at the center. This emphasis on a tiered approach to quality care for kids includes enhancing the great communication that is key to team building across the continuum of care.”

After applying, centers seeking verification from the CSV program undergo an extensive site visit by an ACS team of reviewers. The reviewer teams consist of experienced children’s surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists, and pediatric nurses who review the center’s structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. The current Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care manual informs the application and is used as a guideline in conducting the survey. Learn more about the ACS CSV program.

About St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital
St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), part of the Palm Beach Health Network, is a 420-bed acute care hospital in West Palm Beach. The hospital has been serving Palm Beach County and the Treasure for more than 80 years.  SMMC is a Level 1 Trauma Center, a state-designated Pediatric Trauma Referral Center, and has a level III NICU.  Pediatric services are provided at the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is the only dedicated children’s hospital between Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. Along with 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency and trauma care, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital’s medical staff consists of 196 pediatricians in 36 subspecialties.

To learn more about St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, visit, or call 561-844-6300. 

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 84,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. “FACS” designates a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

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