The American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) top priority is providing value for its Fellows, Associate Fellows, and Resident and Medical Student Members. Current member benefits provide opportunities and resources in the areas of education, research, quality, advocacy, publications, scholarships, networking, committees, and communities. The ACS Division of Member Services has developed this new “Your ACS benefits” column to provide members with updates every other month on the member perquisites. This inaugural column looks at two ACS member databases: the Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) and the ACS Member Profile.
The SSR is a web and mobile software application and database that allows surgeons to track their cases and outcomes in a convenient, easy-to-use manner. The SSR builds on the ACS Case Log system, enabling surgeons not only to log and keep track of their cases, but also participate in an increasing number of regulatory programs for the individual health care professional. Examples include the following:
- Submit surgical measures to the 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). In 2017, health care providers will be subject to penalties based on 2015 data. Options for CMS PQRS participation in the SSR include the following:
- 2015 PQRS General Surgery Measures Group
- 2015 PQRS individual measures
- 2015 ACS SSR Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR)—Trauma measures
- Meet American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification Part 4, which requires surgeons to participate in an outcomes registry or quality assessment program.
- Use the SSR as an individual health care provider case log.
- Enter and edit cases online and via a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, and Android).
- Enter cases in the registry within a matter of minutes based on key clinical data variables.
- Review benchmark and real-time online reports.
ACS members can access and use the SSR free of charge. Many members who have used the SSR have found that the registry is a valuable benefit; in fact, according to a member survey conducted in November 2014 of 2,232 members, 64 percent of the Fellows who reported using the SSR rated it as highly valuable. The College anticipates that surgeons will find the SSR of increasing value as regulatory requirements continue to mount.
To use this member resource, members will need to register for the system by logging in with a user name and password. Participants will then be taken to an account creation page. If you have already registered for the SSR, log in to the system and enter your cases. For more information about the SSR, contact SSR@facs.org.
My Profile and the Find a Surgeon Site
The new ACS website, launched in the summer of 2014, allows members to access and update their online profiles more easily. These data feed into the Find a Surgeon site that your colleagues and, most importantly, patients who are searching for a qualified surgeon use to connect with you. Members who log in to the website and then access the Find a Surgeon site can search for colleagues and retrieve their contact information, including their e-mail addresses. E-mail addresses are not displayed to the public. In addition, members can search for colleagues through the ACS Communities.
To date, more than 10,000 members have updated some component of their Member Profile. Updating your profile is quick and easy. There are eight profile sections, some of which are pre-populated with information provided as part of your Fellow or Associate Fellow application.
You can use key features of the member profile to do the following:
- Edit your contact information and specify whether you want patients to be able to contact you through the site.
- Upload your photo. If you don’t have a current photo available to upload, visit the My Profile booth at the annual Clinical Congress to get a professional photo taken and where staff will upload it directly to your profile. The photo will be provided to you on a flash drive, free of charge.
- Inform patients about yourself and your practice philosophy.
- Identify and select your subspecialties and areas of clinical concentration from a comprehensive list.
- Display information about your hospital and/or academic appointments and society memberships.
- Edit your pre-populated training and society membership information as well as update your specialty and board certification information.
- Select options to display your birth date, gender, and/or race.
- Choose how you want the information displayed—to the public, to members only, or kept private.
The ACS will send you a weekly e-mail indicating how many individuals have viewed your profile.
The ACS is working on your behalf to raise awareness and help patients understand the meaning of ACS membership—that Fellows pledge to place the welfare and rights of their patients above all else, to respect each patient’s autonomy and individuality, and to work to advance their professional knowledge and skills throughout their careers.
Patients who enter a search such as “need a qualified surgeon” or “looking for a surgeon” in a search engine such as Google will be presented with the ACS Find a Surgeon site as one of their top search returns. The facs.org website is also promoted by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society. Most patients are either looking for surgeons to perform a specific procedure or a health care professional within their geographic area. However, patients can also search by a range of variables, including name, state/city/zip code, country, distance, specialty, subspecialty, areas of clinical concentration, and gender. The results will display all of the information you have requested as “public” in your Profile; from that point, patients can send you a direct e-mail communication.
Monthly page views on the Find a Surgeon site range between 12,000 to 18,000 searches, making it one of the most visited pages on the ACS website.
To update your profile, go to facs.org and click on “Member Login,” located in the upper right-hand corner of the Web page. Enter your user name (your member ID) and password. If you do not have this information available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and a College staff member will send it to you. Once logged in, the “Member Login” tab will read, “Welcome Dr. [Your Name].” Click on “Welcome” and select “My Profile.” From here you can click on the pencils in the right hand corner of each section to begin editing and adding information to your profile. Users have the ability to save content as they work within the tool, and have the option of reviewing the finished product by logging out and searching for his or her name in the Find a Surgeon site. Members are encouraged to visit his or her profile at least once a year and whenever contact information requires updating. While logged in, users have the opportunity to review all of the other exclusive members-only benefits that are available, such as My CME, the Affinity Program offerings, and the FACS logo that is available for download.