Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital Receives Top Pediatric Surgery Certification by American College of Surgeons

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital has earned another prestigious honor that sets it apart as one of the nation’s premier pediatric centers.  

The American College of Surgeons has designated Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center, making it only the third pediatric hospital in the West to receive the highly regarded certification, and the 18th center nationwide.

The ACS designation comes through a new system known as the Children’s Surgery Verification (CSV) Quality Improvement Program. This program aims to improve the quality of children’s surgical care and define the resources necessary to achieve the best patient outcomes.

The CSV certification encompasses the more than 23,000 surgeries performed at the hospital every year.

Doug Barnhart, MD, University of Utah Health and Primary Children’s Hospital, was a member of the ACS steering committee that drafted the new standards. The committee set high requirements for certification because it wanted hospitals to work harder for better patient results, he noted.

“We knew the bar was set high for this process, but we wanted pediatric hospitals to look at every aspect of their surgery process,” said Dr. Barnhart. “I’m proud Primary Children’s met such a high standard for our patients.” 

The new requirements ensure hospitals have the resources to match the needs of children throughout the surgery process. Those requirements include:
- Having two or more board-certified pediatric surgeons and board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists on the medical staff

- Collecting and analyzing surgical outcome data and contributing data to the ACS National Quality Improvement Program 

- Having a Performance Improvement and Patient Safety (PIPS) component that supplements hospital quality-improvement activities and includes both peer and multidisciplinary review of cases.

To become certified, Primary Children’s also had to meet specific criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure, and protocols of care. 

Primary Children’s Hospital began the certification process 18 months ago. Matt Eyre, Primary Children’s surgery program manager, said the hospital had to meet requirements on more than 600-line items.

“While it may have been a long process, it forced everyone to take a hard look at every aspect of our surgery process,” said Eyre. “It makes people refocus on the little things that can make all the difference in a surgery outcome.”

Primary Children’s Hospital also has national received certifications for other surgery categories, including trauma care.



The American College of Surgeons has designated Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center.