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The best in bariatric surgery

The Shannon Weight Loss Center is now a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Blue Distinction® Center+ for Bariatric Surgery. The Blue Distinction® Centers program nationally recognizes centers that complete evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality and care. The centers recognized by this distinction demonstrate their commitment to better overall outcomes for the bariatric surgery patients they care for by offering a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient services, including postoperative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

How we did it

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures. The Shannon Weight Loss Center met these measures for their complication and readmission rate for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy.

The facility also met the requirements of being nationally accredited at a bariatric program-specific level and demonstrated cost efficiency compared to its peers. Facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery are, on average, 20% more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other facilities.

"Being recognized by this distinction, as well as the MBSAQIP accreditation we received last year, is such an honor and truly speaks to all the hard work our team and patients have put into this program," says Kenneth Jastrow III, MD, FACS, Shannon General Surgery. "It really is a joint effort of patient and provider that we are able to receive these prestigious designations for our center."

During the last two years, results for the Shannon Weight Loss Center Bariatric Surgery program include:

  • A 0% mortality rate since program inception.
  • A 0% re-operation rate in 2019.
  • A 0% occurrence of serious events in 2019.
  • All measures exceed MBSAQIP expectations for safe outcomes.
  • BMI reduction at six months is averaged at 55%, while the national average is 41%.
  • Hypertension medication reduction and/or elimination for patients: 47.4% at one year.
  • Diabetes medication reduction and/or elimination for patients: 71.5% at one year.

"The multidisciplinary design of our center differentiates us from those of other programs due to our process, which highly involves the patients from start to finish," says Karen Hancock, BSN, RN, Bariatric Coordinator/MBSCR, Shannon Medical Center. "We do as much as we can to set the patient up for success with each aspect of our program."

What sets us apart

Before having surgery, patients complete a personalized pre-operative clearance plan that includes a psychiatric evaluation, nutritional counseling and educational materials to help them continue the weight loss process after surgery. After surgery is completed, the patient plays a crucial role in continuing a successful outcome. They are responsible for adhering to the diet and exercise program designed by their nutritionist. A bariatric manual of all pre- and postoperative care, dietary plans, medications, exercise and food to avoid are provided at the beginning of each patient's journey.

"We also have bariatric seminars and a support group that meets regularly," Karen says. "All of these aspects have really pushed our program over the top, as we have seen with so many of our patients' success stories. To date, we have completed 271 bariatric procedures since 2016. It is incredible to see so many lives positively changed."

"Some hospitals will complete a surgery and just let you go to fend for yourself," Dr. Jastrow says. "At the Shannon Weight Loss Center, we do anything we can to help, but also hold our patients accountable after surgery. This program truly has changed the lives of so many already, and we hope to continue this with the help of the Blue Distinction."

For more information on the Shannon Weight Loss Center or bariatric surgery, please call the program coordinator at 325-657-5146 or visit shannonhealth.com/services/weight-loss-center. To join the online support group on Facebook or on monthly Zoom meetings, email KarenHancock@shannonhealth.org.

The Shannon Weight Loss Center team includes:

  • Danielle Samaniego, MA
  • Toyha Harper, NP
  • Nichole Bartz, RD
  • Karen Hancock, RN
  • Kenneth Jastrow III, MD
  • Eileen Barbella, PhD
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