The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken a toll on patients, their families, and on the health care professionals who are battling this pandemic on the frontlines. We anticipate that members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) will find this newsletter useful in addressing the financial issues they are experiencing and that it will point them toward the resources they need to get through this difficult time financially and emotionally.
Every week, we conduct an analysis regarding those who receive this newsletter and engage with us through our social media channels. Without question, we have found that clinical guidance articles are the most widely read items each week. In recent weeks, our readers have shown particular interest in guidance on triaging and the incremental ramp up of elective operations. It is noteworthy that this issue includes updated information on scheduling of cancer operations and factors surgeons and their institutions need to consider as we move to the “new normal.”
We use our social media channels to share the latest information, especially in between newsletter editions, to ensure we deliver updates to you as quickly as possible. Each week, our social media posts reach more than 11 million people in the U.S. and across the world. We’ve also increased our use of video to share critical information with you, and approximately 500,000 people have watched these messages. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and on Twitter, use #ACSCOVID19 to track the conversation.
We’ve also connected with media outlets across the country to provide perspective on the impact COVID-19 has had on surgery. Since mid-March, the ACS has appeared in news coverage more than 2,000 times, including more than 300 times in the past week. View some of the latest coverage here and here.
In this issue, we highlight a recent article on treatment for disordered coagulation in COVID-19 patients, a challenge we understand is of interest to many. We also provide an update on what the College is doing to help surgeons address the impact of the pandemic on the financial stability of their institutions and practices. A webinar that the ACS Practice Protection Committee hosted last night explored this topic.
In addition, the ACS-led Surgical Coalition continues to work with members of the Administration to ensure that surgeons returning to a more normal workflow can do so without having to immediately attend to administrative issues, such as adapting to new Quality Payment Program requirements and new health information technology expectations.
The ACS has also developed resources for Fellows related to telehealth billing.
The most valuable players in the fight against COVID-19 are those of you confronting the realities of caring for very ill patients, sometimes for prolonged periods of time. The College offers a Surgeon Well-Being Index, which we encourage frontline providers to access, as well as other resources described in this issue. We also link to a podcast featuring Jo Shapiro, MD, FACS, an ACS Governor, representing the Society of University Otolaryngologists. In Managing Your Wellness, hosted by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Shapiro, who is recovering from COVID-19 and is the founder of the Center for Professionalism and Peer Support at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, discusses the importance of physician wellness during the pandemic.
The College is here to support you during this crisis, whether by providing you with clinical guidance, addressing your payment concerns, or offering services and programs to help you manage in these uncertain times. You are our top priority, just as you selflessly give of your time, talents, and expertise to the patients to whom you provide surgical care.