Report on ACSPA/ACS activities, February 2017

The Board of Directors of the American College of Surgeons Professional Association (ACSPA) and the Board of Regents (B/R) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) met February 11–12 at the College’s headquarters in Chicago, IL. The following is a summary of their discussions and actions.

ACSPA

As of February 9, the ACSPA political action committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC), raised more than $78,000 from more than 230 College members and staff. In addition, the SurgeonsPAC has disbursed $126,220 to 24 congressional candidates, leadership PACs, and political campaign committees. In line with congressional party ratios, 60 percent was given to Republicans and 40 percent to Democrats.

ACS

In addition to reviewing reports from the ACS division directors, the B/R reviewed and approved new policy statements on the following:

Division of Education

The Board of Regents approved the continuation of the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP®) for another three-year cycle. The Board also approved the ACS Division of Education’s collaboration with the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons to further develop, implement, and evaluate the impact of the Colorectal Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill program.

A total of 11,745 surgical professionals attended the Clinical Congress held in Washington, DC, on October 16–20, 2016.

Division of Integrated Communications

To further build enthusiasm for the digital version of the Bulletin, the Division of Integrated Communications is launching a marketing campaign to encourage readers to read the monthly publication in one of its online formats. Future plans for the Bulletin website call for revitalizing and reconstructing it to make it more responsive and reader friendly. New features that are under consideration include videos, a running news feed, and an open forum. The goal is to make the Bulletin the go-to source of news, information, and commentary for members of the College. To further assist the division in determining what today’s Bulletin readers want and need, a survey will be conducted in the spring.

Media coverage highlights for 2016

Media coverage of the landmark findings from the Flexibility in Duty Hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) Trial began February 2, 2016, when results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented concurrently at the 2016 Academic Surgical Congress. The key takeaway message from this first national randomized trial of resident duty hours was that flexible, less restrictive duty hour policies are safe for patients, reduce handoffs, and lead to greater resident satisfaction. The Resident and Associate Society of the ACS also released a statement endorsing the study’s findings. The FIRST Trial news story received 2,088 total media mentions in the period from its publication in February to December 2016, and 167 articles mentioned the ACS.

In addition, the ACS media relations team prepared a press release on a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) describing the increasing number of patients who would benefit from liver transplant being removed from the wait list because they are “too sick to transplant.” Study authors from UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA, reported that the CMS quality improvement initiative, called Conditions of Participation, had inadvertently increased removal of the sickest patients from the transplant list. This JACS study showed staying power throughout the year, and continued to get mentioned as media reported on the current CMS transplant policy.

Social media

A total of 2,172 unique discussion contributors posted 15,892 messages across all ACS Communities in 2016, a year in which nearly 908,000 web pages were viewed by the 25,000-plus members who have agreed to the site’s terms of use. More than 11,000 members have now uploaded their profile photos. Hot topics of discussion in 2016 included surgical attire, reapplications and privileges, robotic surgery, the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act, and Maintenance of Certification reporting.

facs.org

The College’s public-facing website, facs.org, remains the go-to place for members seeking to stay up to date on College programs and initiatives and to conduct business tasks such as paying their dues.

Website traffic increased in 2016 from the previous year. The annual comparison is as follows:

  • Total page views—
    + 10.62 percent (8,926,044 versus 8,069,243 in 2015)
  • Unique page views—
    + 9.01 percent (6,257,698 versus 5,722,188 in 2015)
  • Average time on a page—
    + 4.24 percent (00:01:31 versus 00:01:28 in 2015)

An online guide for first-time Clinical Congress attendees was developed to help them get the most out of their initial experience.

In fall 2016, a series of new informational videos were added online in the Advocacy section to help surgeons prepare for proposed changes to the physician payment system.

In January, the website was enhanced to include a store. The store carries a choice of Bleeding Control (BCon) Kits for purchase that carry the branding of the College, the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), and the Hartford Consensus. Also in January, the website opened an Instructor Portal, built collaboratively by the COT and Informational Technology, to allow certified instructors to post their BCon classes on the site for public viewing and registration. Since the website’s launch, it has had more than 80,000 visitors.

Division of Member Services

The B/R accepted resignations from seven Fellows: one cardiothoracic, two general, one neurological, one ophthalmic, one pediatric, and one plastic and reconstructive surgeon. The B/R also approved a change in status from Active (dues paying) to Retired for 112 Fellows, and from Senior (non-dues paying) to Retired for 15 Fellows, for a total of 127 Fellows.

The Board of Regents approved an addition to the International Fellowship requirements, which mandates an interview with all international applicants for Fellowship beginning in 2018.

Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care

The Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care (DROPC) encompasses the area of Continuous Quality Improvement and ACS research and accreditation programs.

ACS NSQIP

A total of 777 hospitals participate in the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®), 677 of which participate in the adult option. Following is the breakdown of participating sites by ACS NSQIP category:

  • Essentials: 312
  • Pediatric: 100
  • Procedure Targeted: 294
  • Small and Rural: 71

Over the past 12 months, ACS NSQIP enrollment has grown 12 percent.

MBSAQIP

A total of 826 surgery centers participate in the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)—744 which are fully accredited, and 48 of which are initial applicants. The remaining 34 are data collection centers that were originally American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery provisional centers that chose to continue with data entry, but did not complete the process to meet full accreditation status.

Cancer Programs

A total of 1,508 cancer centers are accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

COT

As of January 18, 670 hospitals were participating in the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP®), broken down as follows:

  • Adult TQIP: 547 program participants
  • Pediatric TQIP: 123 program participants

As of September 20, 2016, a total of 432 hospitals have ACS COT verification, broken down as follows:

  • Adult COT verified enters: 344
  • Pediatric COT verified centers: 30
  • Combined Adult & Pediatrics centers: 58 combined facilities

NAPBC

Interest in National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) accreditation remains strong both within the U.S. and internationally. More than 600 U.S. centers have NAPBC accreditation, and the NAPBC has received approximately 50 new applications for 2017 to date. Reaccreditation rates for 2017 remain at more than 95 percent. NAPBC accredits three international centers in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Johannesburg, South Africa, and Toronto, ON.

ACS Foundation

The ACS Foundation had a strong year in its mission to obtain financial support for the philanthropic and educational work of the College. Thanks to the generous support of Fellows and friends of the College, contributions in 2016 increased 11 percent from the previous years. Examples of the Foundation’s support in 2016 include the following:

  • Modest Annual Giving Campaign
  • $165,000 surgical skills courses
  • $821,616 for Opioids–Physician/patient Education Program
  • $12,150,000 for John H. Hartford Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program, and hospital-acquired infections data collection
  • A shift to a major gifts focus

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