American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS Quality Verification Program

Verifying Quality Across the House of Surgery

The ACS Quality Verification Program is based on the Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety or “Red Book,” the surgical quality how-to manual gleaned from the knowledge of hundreds of surgeon content experts and the ACS’ experience working with the 3,000 hospitals that currently participate in ACS Quality Programs. The Red Book manual establishes an overarching framework to ensure quality resources and infrastructure improve care for all surgical patients at your institution.

The ACS Quality Verification Program takes core elements of the Red Book to establish standards and a process for verification that aims to create a surgical quality program that improves efficiency, care, and value for all surgical patients across all divisions of surgery within the hospital.

View the 12 program standards

It is designed to establish a comprehensive surgical quality program at both the hospital level and also across hospital systems and networks. Participating hospitals have found this verification process to be essential to establishing and improving their hospitals’ organizational infrastructure for surgical quality.

ENSURE your surgery program is able to:

  • FIND your problems with reliable, clinically relevant, benchmarked DATA
  • Have appropriate mechanisms to SOLVE your problems
  • Have the underlying organizational infrastructure to COMMUNICATE findings and prevent future problems

The ACS Quality Verification Program standards and ongoing participation as an ACS QUALITY HOSPITAL provides tools to develop STANDARDIZATION and a SYSTEM APPROACH to care, which help:

  • Reduce complications
  • Minimize waste
  • Increase value for patients

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Many hospitals and individual surgeons are committed to improving quality for surgical patients, but disjointed communication across departments and variability of dedicated resources and infrastructure often hamper meaningful progress.

Are you confident that…

  • Your Quality Officer is aware of all surgical complications through a robust surveillance process?
  • Complications are evaluated consistently and resolved appropriately across departments of surgery?
  • You can identify and distinguish between system problems and poor performance by providers?
  • You have a process and sufficient resources for achieving quality improvement?
  • You have the appropriate tools to increase the value of the care you offer?

Using the framework established in The ACS Quality Verification Program, you can instill confidence in your hospital leadership, surgeons, clinical staff, and patients that there is a core infrastructure that underpins quality across all departments and divisions of surgery.

The ACS Quality Verification Program Will Help You Improve Quality

The ACS Quality Verification Program partners with you to help you establish the resources and team you need to build a robust quality infrastructure. 

  • The Red Book serves as a “how-to manual” to articulate a comprehensive framework and serve as guide to surgical quality.
  • The ACS Quality Verification Programs serves as a template for creating a surgical quality program at your hospital or across a hospital system or network.
  • The ACS Quality Verification Program Standards help you make the case to hospital administration to obtain the resources you need.
  • Participation in The ACS Quality Verification Program helps you break through the noise to focus attention on surgical quality and helps you engage leaders and frontline surgeons and staff to build a coalition for quality.
  • Verification site visits approximately every three years conducted by an external peer review team help you hold up the mirror to your institution and provide a customized, detailed report that serves as a roadmap to help you promote your strengths and address areas that need further development.
  • Recognition as an ACS Quality Hospital helps you demonstrate to patients and your community that your hospital is committed to high quality care and to providing value to patients.

The Continuous Quality Journey

Regardless of the maturity of your surgical quality processes, The ACS Quality Verification Program is designed to help you celebrate and promote your surgery program’s strengths as well as identify opportunities for improvement and ensure you are on the right path to improving surgical quality and subsequently value for all patients.

To find out more about how your institution can participate, contact


Looking Forward

The ACS Quality Verification Program was recently highlighted in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. Learn about how QVP performs site visits. 

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Evidence for Standards – Part 1

A comprehensive literature validates principles underlying the ACS Quality Verification Program’s Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality. Published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons

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Evidence for Standards – Part 2

Part II of the literature review validating principles underlying the ACS QVP standards looks at processes for identification and resolution of quality improvement issues. Published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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