ACS in the News

Editor’s note: Media around the world, including social media, frequently report on the work of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Following are brief excerpts from news stories published from June through August 2013 that mention key ACS activities and initiatives, including research findings that appear in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. To access the news items in their entirety, visit the online ACS Newsroom.

Online calculator assesses individual patient surgical risks
FierceHealthIT, August 19, 2013

“A new tool developed by the American College of Surgeons enables physicians and the public to more accurately assess the risk involved with 1,500 surgical procedures…. Detailed outcomes data from nearly 400 hospitals and 1.4 million patients was collected through the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. The creators rigorously tested the calculator and focused on using everyday language that would make it easy for the public to understand, according to an announcement.”

Virtual training helps surgical residents with patient management
FierceHealthIT, August 5, 2013

“Three-dimensional simulation technology via Second Life could be the basis for a new tool to help surgical residents fine tune their patient management skills, according to research published in the August edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

For surgery, big and famous hospitals aren’t always the best
Reuters, July 31, 2013

“The American College of Surgeons collects data on surgical outcomes, such as the rate of infections at the surgical site and urinary tract infections, through its National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. The group will not release the data to the public because it promised confidentiality to hospitals providing the data, said Dr. Clifford Ko [MD, FACS], a cancer surgeon at [the University of California-Los Angeles] Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center who is involved in the project. However, 102 of about 500 participating hospitals voluntarily report some of their data to the federal Center[s] for Medicare [&] Medicaid Services.”

Fight back: When avalanche of anxiety and anger take over
Grand Rapids Press, July 21, 2013

“Identifying that level of distress and treating it has such a positive impact on our sticking with treatment, hastening recovery and even reducing healthcare costs, that ‘starting in 2015 more than 1,500 cancer centers will need to screen patients for distress to maintain their accreditation with the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.’”

With Split Grafts, A Donor’s Liver Can Save Two Lives
Medical Daily, July 17, 2013

“Split liver transplantation carries no increased risk of failure in either recipient, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The process, whereby two partial grafts can be obtained from a single donated organ, could virtually eliminate waitlist mortality among young children in need of a new liver.”

Doctors Tested in Boston Bombings
Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, July 2013

“Many surgeons credit the contributions of the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma (COT) in the success of the surgical response following the bombings. The mission of the COT is to develop and implement meaningful programs for trauma care in local, national and international arenas, and to provide professional development and standards of care. ‘Without the COT,’ Dr. [George] Velmahos. [MD, FACS] said, ‘we wouldn’t have trauma systems; we wouldn’t have trauma teams, centers, standard of codes of managing trauma patients, no policies or protocols. It is this exact system put together that allows us to practice at the level that we do.’”

Cancer Registrars’ Role in the Era of Big Data
Advance, July 3, 2013

“In 2012, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) began pulling and pushing its accredited facilities into an era of big data by setting standards that encourage the use of facility-wide data. The 2012 CoC standards made it clear that the registry could no longer be an adjunct operation of a facility treating cancer patients. The standards required an integrated approach to reviewing the facility’s operations and, in particular, its strengths and weaknesses.”

Check Please: Choosing the Best Hospital for Your Cancer Surgery
CURE magazine, June 17, 2013

“One good way to start is by searching for a hospital that’s accredited by an external organization, such as the National Cancer Institute, says John Birkmeyer [MD, FACS], who teaches surgery and directs the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Commission on Cancer, created by the American College of Surgeons, also has an accreditation process. The more than 1,500 accredited cancer facilities make up 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals but care for about 70 percent of cancer patients, according to [Daniel] McKellar [MD, FACS], who chairs the commission.”

Study: Quitting smoking helps surgical outcomes, June 21, 2013

“Smoking cessation at least one year before major surgery eliminates the increased risk of postoperative mortality and decreases the risk of arterial and respiratory events that are evident in current smokers, according to a study…. A total of 125,192 current and 78,763 past smokers from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database who underwent a major surgery were included in the study, which was published June 19 on the website of JAMA Surgery.”

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