Archive for September, 2013

Looking forward – September 2013

Highlights of the 2013 Clinical Congress are the focus of Dr. Hoyt’s column this month, particularly sessions that spotlight the College’s 100 years of Inspiring Quality. These sessions include the Martin Memorial Lecture sponsored by the American Urological Association and featuring historian David McCullough, and sessions titled Advances to the Care of Surgical Patients through Contributions of JACS and the BJS Centennial Report and Looking Back and Moving Forward: 100 Years of Surgical Research.

Dr. Hauser

Surgeons put planning, preparation, past experience to work in efforts to save Boston Marathon bombing victims

This article describes trauma surgeons’ reactions to the Boston Marathon bombing and presents information regarding the cases surgeons handled that day and the procedures performed. Factors that resulted in high survival rate of the patients, including planning, preparation, and past experience, also are highlighted.

Hartford Consensus II attendees, from left: Drs. Brinsfield, Fabbri, Wade, Jacobs, Serino, Carmona, Conn, Kamin, Eastman, Burns, McSwain, and Rotondo. Not pictured (joined by phone): Dr. Butler and Mr. Sinclair.

Active Shooter and Intentional Mass-Casualty Events: The Hartford Consensus II

The Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability From Mass Casualty Shooting Events issued a call to action on July 11, 2013. It is the second report from the committee, which the ACS played a leadership role in forming. The purpose of the Hartford Consensus Conference II, which took place July 11 in Hartford, CT, was to develop strategies for focused actions to achieve the objectives of the first Hartford Consensus.

ACS Transition to Practice program offers residents additional opportunities to hone skills

In response to concerns regarding the preparedness of newly trained surgeons and their ability to work independently, the College has established the ACS Transition to Practice (TTP) program. This article offers an overview of the challenges involved in developing this program and the process the ACS will use in approving training programs to serve as sites for the TTP program.

Mandating the use of motorcycle helmets: What are the issues?

This article examines the data regarding the effectiveness of mandatory motorcycle helmet laws and looks at the legal and ethical concerns surrounding them. The authors provide an overview of the arguments proponents and opponents of the laws use to support their positions and explains the ethical reasons why surgeons should play a role in the debate surrounding legislation mandating the use.

Online physician reviews: The good, the bad, and the ugly

This article introduces the topic of this year’s Resident and Associate Society Symposium: online patient rankings of physicians. The authors describe the aspects of the patient care experience that typically are rated in online physician reviews, offers details on the potential benefits and drawbacks regarding these reviews, and speculates on the future of these websites.

Centennial reprint: 1988 report served as basis for the Medicare payment system

To help commemorate the ACS’ Centennial, the Bulletin is reprinting articles centered on the issues and developments that have defined the character of the organization and the surgical profession for the last 100 years. This month’s reprint from January 1989 looks at the development and implications of what was then known as the Harvard RBRVS. Perhaps no initiative has so profoundly affected the way physicians are compensated for the services they provide than the creation of the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS).

This month’s reprint reviews stakeholders’ reactions to the report, including those of members of Congress; explores the key issues that were unresolved at the time of the report’s release; and considers how the study might have been used to develop payment policies in the future.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program deadlines

Since implementation of the Medicare electronic health record program, the Bulletin has published columns such as this one to assist surgeons and administrative staff in differentiating the two phases of implementation, to inform surgeons of important deadlines, and to make them aware of the penalties associated with noncompliance and nonparticipation.

Update: PQRS reporting of the perioperative care measures group

This column focuses on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Physician Quality Reporting System perioperative care measures group because it is the one surgeons use most frequently. First steps in reporting a claim along with denominator, frequency, and numerator topics are also covered.

RQRS monthly alert to cancer program with cases not yet compliant with CoC quality measures

American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Rapid Quality Reporting System: From quality measurement to quality improvement

Systems like the ACS Commission on Cancer’s Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) not only measure quality, but also assist in immediate quality improvement. These systems, observes the author of this column, are valuable tools for improving cancer care and should be the focus of future research efforts.

Joint Commission Blogs Web page

News for physicians from physicians

Improving communication with physicians, particularly through The Joint Commission’s new blog JC Physician, is the focus of this month’s column.

Emergency department disposition


According to the Federal Railroad Administration the number of train accidents has declined by more than 43 percent during the past decade, although several high-profile crashes involving trains have occurred recently. This column examines the occurrence of injuries due to train derailment using the National Trauma Data Bank® (NTDB®) research dataset for 2012.

Dr. Bass

Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS, selected to receive 2013 Distinguished Service Award

In acknowledgement of her steadfast commitment to the initiatives and principles of the ACS, Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS, is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award. The award is the ACS’ highest honor and will be presented during the Convocation ceremonies at the 2013 Clinical Congress in Washington, DC.

Official notice: Annual Business Meeting of Members, American College of Surgeons

The Annual Business Meeting of Members of the ACS will take place at the 2013 Clinical Congress on Wednesday, October 9, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

George F. Sheldon, MD, FACS: A lifetime of achievement as a scholar, surgical educator

ACS Past-President George F. Sheldon, MD, FACS, a great humanist and icon of American surgery at home and abroad, died of heart failure June 16 in Chapel Hill, NC.

Dr. Beal

John Mann Beal, MD, FACS, remembered as caring surgeon, educator, and advocate for the surgical profession

ACS Past-President John Mann Beal, MD, FACS, died June 3 in Valdosta, GA, at age 97.

Fellows honored for volunteerism

The Board of Governors’ Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup has announced the recipients of the 2013 ACS Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award and Surgical Volunteerism Awards.

Using a systems approach to solve practice problems in surgery

Measure Twice, Cut Once! Optimizing Surgical Systems of Care is a new course designed by and for surgeons, and it will be offered for the first time at the ACS 2013 Clinical Congress in Washington, DC. Participants will learn how to identify areas of care they want to monitor, collect the relevant data needed to evaluate performance and outcomes, interpret the results of appropriate data analyses, identify opportunities for improvement, and implement timely and effective changes.

JACS announces speedy online publication of accepted manuscripts

The Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) has initiated a new online feature: “In Press Accepted Manuscripts.” With this program, accepted manuscripts are now published online at approximately one-and-a-half weeks after acceptance.

ACS supports AMA resolution recognizing obesity as a disease

The ACS and 10 other medical/specialty societies cosponsored a resolution that the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates passed during its June meeting, which recognizes obesity as a disease state that has multiple pathophysiological aspects that require a range of interventions to advance treatment and prevention.


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