Archive for October, 2012

Looking forward – October 2012

The College’s early efforts to ensure that hospitals met a Minimum Standard of care are the focus of Dr. Hoyt’s column this month. He offers background information on why the College took on the responsibility of developing and verifying these standards and calls upon today’s surgeons to uphold the legacy of the organization’s founders.

Task shifting overcomes the limitations of volunteerism in developing nations

Task shifting—which involves training nonphysician clinicians in the provision of basic medical and surgical care—has been successfully used in several resource-poor countries to address workface shortages. This article examines the magnitude of the global surgical disease crisis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, discusses the limitations of volunteerism, and recommends greater use of task shifting to better address this issue.

Using telemedicine to strengthen medical systems in limited-resource countries

An international telemedicine program developed by health care professionals at the University of Arizona, Tucson, uses a comprehensive, four-phase strategy—Initiate-Build-Operate-Transfer (IBOT)—to establish telemedicine and e-health educational services in developing countries. This strategy could be used as a model for a new sustainable form of surgical volunteerism or for high-tech volunteerism efforts.

ACS takes a stand on policies impacting the surgical workforce

The American College of Surgeons is carefully monitoring legislation and activities that could affect the surgical profession and patient access to high-quality care, and continues to advocate for policies designed to strengthen the surgical workforce. This article examines the College’s advocacy efforts in these areas.

Why the 2012 elections matter to you—the surgeon

Voting on key health policy-related issues, particularly from the surgeon’s perspective, this election year will help ensure that patients have access to the best-quality surgical care. This article examines issues such as quality improvement and medical liability reform and why surgeons should take the time to educate both colleagues and patients on these topics.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program

Surgeons are asking more questions pertaining to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services EHR Incentive Program, such as: Why should I enroll? What resources are available to help me understand the incentives? What are the Stage 1 requirements? This column provides an overview of the program and illustrates the various meaningful use measures developed to help maximize incentives for participation.

Governors’ Committee on Socioeconomic Issues

The Board of Governors’ Committee on Socieoecnomic Issues is developing a white paper addressing the roles and future of surgeons as employees. This article provides an update on this report and other notable activities of the committee.

The value of chapter membership: The rural surgeon’s perspective

ACS chapter membership can help provide solutions to the challenges that rural surgeons face by offering them opportunities to build relationships with surgeons at tertiary care facilities.

The paradox of breast MRI: Does finding occult disease make a difference?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to manage breast cancer for more than two decades. Despite this familiarity, or perhaps because of it, the controversy over the utility of breast MRI has continued to grow. Early reports showed that breast MRI had the ability to detect disease that mammography otherwise missed. These early reports […]

ASCs begin using wrong site surgery tool

This month’s column highlights The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare’s Targeted Solutions Tool™ (TST), which guides accredited ambulatory surgery centers through a step-by-step process to identify, measure, and reduce risks in processes that can contribute to a wrong site surgery.

Number of assaults


Violence affects people at all stages of life with an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes committed in the U.S. in 2009 alone. This month’s column examines the occurrence of assaults in the National Trauma Data Bank® research dataset for 2008, 2009, and 2010.

ACS NSQIP ® conference participants inspired to take QI to the next level

More than 900 surgeons and other health care professionals participated in this year’s American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) National Conference July 21–24 in Salt Lake City, UT. This report provides highlights of the meeting, including insights into developing surgeon champions and creating a quality improvement culture.

ACS adds input on policy at AMA House of Delegates meeting

This report summarizes the topics that the College’s delegation addressed at the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates meeting this summer.

The new ATLS Ninth Edition.

New ATLS® Ninth Edition includes bedside referencing app

Every four years, the College’s Advanced Trauma Life Support® ATLS® course manual is revised to ensure that users can stay abreast of the latest medical knowledge and practical skills. This new edition, released in September, features an improved visual presentation, updated references, and content changes. The mobile app for the new ATLS Ninth Edition has both Universal iOS and Android compatibility..

Dr. Patricia L. Turner among four new AMA Foundation board members

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director of the ACS Division of Member Services, is among four national board members recently elected to the American Medical Association Foundation

Submit nominations for EAST Distinguished Service Award by October 31

Established in 2012, the John P. Pryor, MD, Distinguished Service Award recognizes members of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma with notable service in the field of military casualty care. This announcement provides details for nominating an individual for the 2013 award.

Members in the news

The accomplishments of several Fellows of the American College of Surgeons are highlighted this month.

Tennessee IQ forum focuses on new model for improving quality and reducing costs

The Tennessee Inspiring Quality (IQ) forum—the seventh stop in the ACS Inspiring Quality national tour—underscored how quality improvement programs and collaboration within the health care community may lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced health care costs.

ACS K08/K23 awards will supplement NIH applications due October 12

The ACS has announced a program for supplemental funding to individuals who receive a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08/K23).

2012 Japan Traveling Fellow reports on trip

As the 2012 Japan Traveling Fellow, Stephen R. Grobmyer, MD, FACS, offers details about his personal and scientific interaction with Japanese colleagues.


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