American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS in the News

January 2016

Frail patients more likely to die in the year after surgery
Reuters, January 26, 2016

"Frailty increases the risk of death, complications, longer hospital stay and discharge to a nursing facility, but does not exclude anyone from a particular operation, [Dr. Jason M.] Johanning told Reuters Health by email.

'Rather it gives the operative team the ability to have an open and frank discussion with the patient about their goals of care and what to expect and how to proceed when complications occur postoperatively,' he said.

The American College of Surgeons in connection with the John A. Hartford Foundation is designing a program to address these system issues, he said."

New Standards Seek to Improve Children's Surgical Care
Hospitals & Health Networks, January 26, 2016

"As new technology dominates the headlines in the personalization of health care, allocating hospital resources and providing hospital standards are also an important part of moving health care into the future. The American College of Surgeons in collaboration with the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care released its updated standards for 2016, Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care to do just that.  The document is central to providing improved surgical care and customized attention children patients need. And with more than five million infants and children to undergo a surgical procedure in the U.S. annually, according to the same report, developing adequate surgical standards for children is a crucial goal."

Study Pinpoints Best Timing for Rectal Cancer Surgery
MedlinePlus, January 21, 2016

"Compared to those who had surgery within 55 days of chemoradiotherapy, those who had surgery after 56 days were slightly older (59 versus 58 years of age) and more likely to be black (9.5 percent versus 8 percent). In addition, they were more likely to be treated at an academic hospital, less likely to have private insurance, and more likely to have stage 3 cancer, the findings showed.

The study was published in the Jan. 20 online edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Joint Guideline Addresses Geriatric Perioperative Care
Medscape, January 11, 2016

"The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Geriatrics Society (AGS) have issued joint best practice recommendations for geriatric perioperative care. The consensus-based guideline was published online January 4 on the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program website."

Tourniquets, now carried by Boston police, weren’t always standard
Boston Globe, January 9, 2016

"In 2013, officials from the American College of Surgeons, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, along with police and fire organizations, concluded in the 'Hartford Consenus' that the primary cause of preventable death in mass casualty events—such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut—is blood loss. And the best way to stop blood loss is through a properly applied tourniquet."

December 2015

Preop Anticoagulation Safe, Reduces DVTs in Cancer Patients
Medscape, December 31, 2015

"For patients with cancer undergoing major surgery, the preoperative use of anticoagulants did not increase rates of major bleeding or the need for transfusions, according to new study results published online December 14 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons...The impetus to conduct this study came about after researchers at MSKCC analyzed the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database and found that their institution had higher-than-expected rates of DVT and pulmonary embolism."

Geographic Access Issues with Liver Transplantation
MD Magazine, December 31, 2015

"The Journal of the American College of Surgeons published  information that informs this issue in a study, with specific focus on the links between market competition, liver transplant center density, and liver transplant volume within individual Donor Service Areas (DSAs). The United States is divided into 11 regions and each region, in turn, is divided into multiple DSAs...Areas in which more transplant centers were located and competition was great did more transplants than those with fewer transplant centers and little competition."

Safe to Use Blood Thinner Before Major Cancer Surgery, Study Finds, December 29, 2015

"Blood thinners such as heparin are commonly given to patients after surgery, but there is little data on their safety and effectiveness when administered before major cancer operations, say researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Based on the results, published online recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the New York City cancer center has begun giving blood thinners to certain patients before major cancer surgery."

Why our health care system is broken
CNN, December 28, 2015

"The study, published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, found what many doctors and nurses have long known to be true, that a hospital's culture is a powerful factor in a patient's surgical outcome."

ACS: Too soon for shift to antibiotics first for appendicitis
Healio, December 22, 2015

"Despite changes in European practice for the treatment of acute appendicitis, researchers from the American College of Surgeons said that is it too soon for United States to adopt an antibiotics-first treatment in lieu of appendectomy."

A Safety Culture Impacts Patients Outcomes
Outpatient Surgery Magazine, December 10, 2015

"For a study published online by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore examined whether non-technical, organizational components of care had an impact on preventing surgical site infections after colon surgery."

New Survivorship Care Plan Template for Radiation Oncology
Medscape, December 4, 2015

"The template addresses new requirements set by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, which has mandated that cancer programs provide survivorship care plans for all curative cancer patients by 2019 to maintain accreditation."

November 2015

Study: Bariatric surgery for teens produces pronounced health benefits
The Columbus Dispatch, November 6, 2015

"Pediatric obesity surgery programs are beginning to seek accreditation through the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and follow guidelines for caring for young patients, including counseling before surgery and support afterward, [Dr. Marc] Michalsky said."

New Approach to Postsurgical Care Reduces Patient Recovery Time After Liver Resection
Oncology Nurse Advisor, November 2, 2015

"Patients undergoing oncologic liver surgeries who participated in an enhanced recovery program returned sooner to their normal life function and to adjuvant cancer therapies than patients who were treated with a traditional approach to perioperative care. These findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

October 2015

Risk Calculator Does Not Alter Surgeons' Choice to Operate
Medscape, October 15, 2015

“The surgical risk calculator, developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), has a "high degree of predictive ability," according to study investigator Greg Sacks, MD, a surgery resident from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a research fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.”

Helmet use reduces odds of head injuries in cyclists by 58%
Yahoo! News, October 12, 2015

“Urban cycling is a growing trend but not all new cyclists are choosing to wear a helmet on their journeys. A recent American study may help convince the reluctant as it shows that this indispensable accessory can help save lives and prevent head and face injuries…Their study was presented October 8 during the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.”

Patients discharged too early end up less satisfied with their healthcare experience
FierceHealthcare, October 9, 2015

“Patients who are discharged from the hospital before they feel they are ready report lower levels of satisfaction with their healthcare experience, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

Intermountain saves $2.5 million with blood-tracking initiative
FierceHealthIT, October 8, 2015

“An initiative at Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare to reduce blood transfusions helped the 22-hospital system cut costs by $2.5 million over two years while significantly reducing hospital-acquired infections and mortality, according to research being presented this week at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.”

Patients who feel ready to leave the hospital are more satisfied
Reuters, October 8, 2015

“In a small study of hospitalized patients, those who felt ready to go home when they were discharged were more satisfied with the hospital and their caregivers than those who didn’t feel ready to go.

It may be useful to use patient readiness for discharge as one measure of quality of care, the authors write in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

Surgeon's Experience Tied to Success of Thyroid Removal: Study
US News & World Report, October 8, 2015

“Patients who undergo thyroid removal may be less likely to suffer complications if their surgeon performs many such surgeries each year, a new study says… The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago.”

Colonoscopy Findings Fade Quickly From Memory
US News & World Report, October 8, 2015

“The percentage of patients who remembered the date of their last colonoscopy to within one month was 94 percent after two months, 42 percent after one year, 30 percent after two years and 28 percent after four years, according to the study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Chicago.”

Surgery May Raise Survival With Advanced Melanoma: Study
US News & World Report, October 8, 2015

“According to the study, nearly one in four patients had surgery to remove the mass from their abdomen. Patients who underwent the surgery lived more than twice as long as those who received drug treatment alone -- 18 months versus seven months, on average, the researchers reported.

The study was to be presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Chicago.”

Why life after beating cancer can be the hardest stage of the disease
Chicago Tribune, October 4, 2015

“Beginning in January, new mandates from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer require that patients leave primary treatment with survivorship care plans. Doctors should discuss side effects, the group suggested, as well as resources for emotional or mental issues.”

September 2015

Surgery Patients Like Online Follow-up, Study Finds
US News & World Report, September 29, 2015

"The study included 50 patients who had both online and in-person care visits after elective gallbladder removal or hernia repair. Seventy-six percent said online care was acceptable as the only form of followup.

For 68 percent of the patients, online and in-person visits were equally effective, according to authors of the study published online Sept. 23 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Surgeons call patient follow-ups via portals, face-to-face 'equally effective'
FierceHealthIT, September 25, 2015

"Online communication via a patient portal was a preferred follow-up method for surgery patients, according to research published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

‘TraumaMan’ helps doctors save humans, spares animals
Reuters, September 25, 2015

“All the schools offer the American College of Surgeons-approved course, Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). The TraumaMan simulator was developed specifically for that course 13 years ago and is now used to train more than 35,000 medical professionals a year, according to Simulab.”

Reduced prostate screening could miss advanced tumors
CBS News, September 24, 2015

“Using the U.S. National Cancer Database, [Dr. Daniel] Barocas and colleagues looked at the effect of the new guidelines on the number of new prostate cancer diagnoses between January 2010 and December 2012.

The researchers found that the number of prostate cancer diagnoses dropped more than 12 percent (1,363 cases) in the month after the draft guideline was issued. It continued to drop to an overall decline of 28 percent in the year after the draft guideline was issued.”

7 Reasons to Call Off a Surgery
Yahoo! News, September 21, 2015

“For one, if you come down with a serious medical condition like a severe fever or sudden respiratory infection (not just a cold), it may be best to reschedule the procedure, says Dr. David B. Hoyt, executive director of the American College of Surgeons.”

#ILookLikeASurgeon: Breaking Stereotypes and Promoting Diversity
Huffington Post, September 3, 2015

“It is time for us as surgeons, to break out of our stereotype and embrace the changing field. In the words of Dr. Andrew Warshaw, former Surgeon-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital, and president-elect of the American College of Surgeons, ‘We all look alike in the OR. It's quality, not gender, that counts.’”

August 2015

Scoring System IDs Risk for Post-op Pulmonary Complications
HealthLeaders Media, August 7, 2015

"The researchers analyzed the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) data of nearly 7,500 patients who had elective general or vascular operations at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital between 2006 and 2013.

They created a scoring system that assigned points for different factors, such as being a current smoker (1 point), older than 60 (2 points), and having undergone esophagus procedures (3 points). Other risk factors were severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; signs of active infection or inflammatory response; and low albumin counts."

July 2015

Cutting junior doctors’ hours may not lower risk of surgical deaths
Reuters, July 30, 2015

“Over the past decade, concern for patient safety and the wellbeing of doctors in training, known as residents, has driven reductions in work hours and more rest between shifts for residents.

But these changes have in turn raised questions about whether more frequent handoffs of patient care from one clinician to the next might lead to mistakes, said lead study author Dr. Ravi Rajaram, a researcher at the American College of Surgeons and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.”

American College of Surgeons clinical database drives improvements in surgical quality
FierceHealthcare, July 27, 2015

"The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) provides more accurate data for driving improvements in surgical quality than two other sources of administrative data, according to two new studies."

I-TEAM: Complication Rates Revealed for 17,000 Surgeons
NBC4 Los Angeles, July 22, 2015

"The American College of Surgeons released a statement Wednesday in response to the ratings. The group said the 'usefulness of the information' provided by the surgeon ratings is 'questionable for a number of reasons.'"

Do cellphones belong in the operating room?
Washington Post, July 13, 2015

“Such incidents are why physicians and medical groups including the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and doctors who published an April paper for the American Society of Anesthesiologists have been issuing warnings about phones in the OR and calling for clear rules on whether and how they can be used. Many raised red flags about the potential for noise or distraction, while some also pointed to the possible challenge of infection control.”

Surgeons to review profusion of quality improvement initiatives
Modern Healthcare, July 11, 2015

“These various initiatives will be discussed at the American College of Surgeons' annual National Surgical Quality Improvement Program meeting July 25-28 in Chicago. About 1,400 are expected to attend the conference, which will includes sessions focused on value- and evidence-based care, the demand for greater teamwork in surgical care, and process improvement.

While he's supportive of the CMS' efforts to boost quality, Dr. Frank Opelka, medical director for quality and health policy for the American College of Surgeons, strikes a cautious note. There are risks about going down the wrong paths, he said. ‘Then it's hard to recover. The pros are that we are moving forward trying to match advances in medicine with potential business systems. The simple con is that it's hard to know which one is going to work and do they work in every market.’”

Resident work-hour restrictions don't help patient outcomes
FierceHealthcare, July 8, 2015

“Although restrictions on the number of hours resident physicians work are meant to reduce medical errors, the work-hour limits do not improve patient safety, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

When New Doctors 'Train' During Surgery, Risks Don't Rise: Study
U.S. News & World Report, July 6, 2015

“To see if there was any basis for the concern, the researchers looked at results of more than 16,000 brain and spine surgeries performed between 2006 and 2012. The information was from the database of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.”

‘Navigators’ for cancer patients: A nice perk or something more?
Washington Post, July 3, 2015

“The programs have been proliferating; since Jan. 1, they have been required for cancer centers seeking accreditation by the American College of Surgeons.

The idea was pioneered in 1990 by Harold P. Freeman, a doctor at Harlem Hospital who realized that his largely poor and uninsured patients were not receiving quality cancer care because they often got lost in the disjointed system. The programs spread to cancer centers across the United States, as well as some treatment facilities for a small number of other diseases.”

June 2015

Trauma registry yields significant increase in traumatic injury survival rates
U.S. Army, June 23, 2015

“JTS is one of five directorates at USAISR. Its additional responsibility is to write clinical practice guidelines and provide a source of institutional knowledge to inform future operations. The agency shares a strategic partnership with the American College of Surgeons, or ACS, Committee on Trauma and the Defense Health Agency, DHA, to ensure all surgeries, including trauma surgeries, in civilian and military environments are registered. JTS has also partnered with United Kingdom medical officers to establish data sharing agreements.”

How Many Steps a Day Should You Really Walk?
Huffington Post, June 22, 2015

“The new research shows that an activity as simple as walking could help to lessen this fatigue. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons included 102 people who had just had surgery done for their pancreatic or periampullary cancers. Eighty-five percent of them reported having fatigue at a moderate to severe level.”

Breast-Conserving Tx Keeps Growing, but Disparities Persist
MedPage Today, June 21, 2015

“The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) includes facility-level data (such as type of practice), in addition to clinical variables and demographics, providing a basis for revisiting the issue of practice-related disparities and their influence on use of BCT.

Investigators reviewed NCDB records for women with newly diagnosed T1-2 breast cancer during 1998 to 2011. The resulting data encompassed 727,927 patients. The principal objective was to identify factors associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of BCT.”

More women with breast cancer choose lumpectomy
CBS News, June 18, 2015

“The new study draws from a database that's more complete than those used in other research, [Dr. Isabelle] Bedrosian said. Her team looked at data on women treated for early stage breast cancer between 1998 and 2011. All were entered into the National Cancer Data Base, sponsored by the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society. It captures about 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States, the study authors said.”

Surgery May Boost Survival in Certain Advanced Lung Cancers
HealthDay, June 4, 2015

“In their research, [Dr. Varun] Puri and his colleagues evaluated data from the National Cancer Database on almost 9,200 patients with stage 3b non-small cell lung cancer who underwent a combination of treatments between 1998 and 2010.”

May 2015

Having Surgery? Quit Smoking
dailyRx News, May 15, 2015

"A new study found that current and past smoking may increase the risk of complications after urological cancer surgery. This increase was specifically seen after prostate and bladder surgeries...[Akshay Sood, MD] and colleagues used the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database for their study. They chose 9,014 patients who had surgery for cancer of the prostate, bladder, or kidney between 2005 and 2011. Their focus was on negative events in the 30 days after each surgery."

General Surgery Safe for Pregnant Women, Study Shows
Medscape, May 14, 2015

"Using the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program participant user file from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2011, the investigators identified pregnant surgical patients and matched them, on the basis of 63 preoperative characteristics, with nonpregnant women undergoing the same operations by general surgeons."

Most Surgery Outcomes Aren’t Tracked
Smithsonian Magazine, May 4, 2015

"The study concluded that there’s a “substantial opportunity” for clinicians to increase the frequencies of national registries. In the meantime, analysts must rely on scant publicly available data — such as the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database, which provided data for this recent study of how to identify and predict which patients are at high risk for hospital readmission after a surgery — as they look for ways to improve healthcare."

Worse survival after lung cancer surgery for residents of poor neighborhoods
Reuters, May 1, 2015

"Residents of low-income neighborhoods with few high school graduates may be more likely to die after lung cancer surgery than more affluent patients, a U.S. study finds...Fernandez and colleagues write in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that the gold standard for longer survival is catching the cancer before it spreads and operating to remove the diseased tissue. Even then, major complications happen after as many as one in three surgeries."

April 2015

Study questions quality of US health data
Medical Xpress, April 30, 2015

“[Dr. Martin] Makary and team point out that several organizations maintained exemplary registries with rich, carefully analyzed data, audited and reported in a meaningful way…Makary says, data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, maintained by the American College of Surgeons, have generated valuable insights about surgical infections, transformed practice and improved patient outcomes.”

The Impact of Stress While Living With Cancer
Huffington Post, April 30, 2015

"Although many hospitals and cancer centers have screened patients for emotional distress with accompanying counseling, it has become apparent that addressing the emotional concerns of cancer patients is paramount. Now, cancer centers will need to screen patients for distress to maintain their accreditation with the American College of Surgeons. This new and valuable mandatory offering will standardize emotional counseling that is necessary for many cancer patients."

Income May Affect Survival After Lung Cancer Surgery
US News & World Report, April 20, 2015

"Lung cancer patients with less income and education are more likely to die within 30 days of cancer surgery than those with more education and money, a new study finds.

The type of hospital where the surgery occurs also matters, said researchers who examined results of more than 215,000 lung cancer surgeries performed in the United States between 2003 and 2011.

The findings are published in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

March 2015

Patients Bounce Back Faster From Surgery With Hospitals’ New Protocol
Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2015

"Dr. [Traci] Hedrick is co-author of a study published online in February in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that found that the new protocol, used in colorectal-surgery patients at the UVA health system, helped reduce the length of hospital stay by 2.2 days compared with a control group who had conventional treatment. It also reduced complications by 17% and increased patient satisfaction with pain control by 55%. There was a cost savings of $7,129 per patient."

Mastectomies on the Rise in Venezuela Amid Economic Crisis
ABC News, March 24, 2015

"Mastectomies were once the go-to procedure for women with breast tumors, but doctors now favor radiation treatment paired with less invasive surgeries that leave some of the breast intact. Only about a third of breast cancer patients in the U.S. who are treated with surgery undergo some kind of mastectomy, according to the American College of Surgeons."

Canadian-born surgeon Susan Mackinnon pioneered nerve transfer surgery
Ottawa Citizen, March 13, 2015

“Nerve transfer surgery reconnects a working nerve to a healthy muscle by rerouting it down another nerve’s pathway to the hand.  Two years ago, [Dr. Susan] Mackinnon received the prestigious Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons for her pioneering work…During her trailblazing career, Mackinnon has developed a series of new treatments for patients with serious peripheral nerve injuries.”

Whole peanuts dangerous for kids under 5
Health eNews Daily, March 11, 2015

“A new study finds that children who are exposed to food containing peanuts early in life may avoid being allergic to the popular food. This sounds like good news, but The American College of Surgeons (ACS), as well as, the American Academy of Pediatrics section for Otolaryngology advise against babies and young children eating whole peanuts or even smaller pieces as they are a choking hazard.”

Study: Participating in ACS NSQIP Provides Surgical Outcome Improvements Over Time
Surgical Products, March 2, 2015

“The majority of hospitals participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS NSQIP) improve surgical outcomes over time, and improvement continues with each year that hospitals participate in the program, according to a new study published online today in 
Annals of Surgery.

February 2015

Too Few Breast Cancer Patients Getting Radiation After Mastectomy: Study
US News & World Report, February 17, 2015

"If women with locally advanced breast cancer plan to have a mastectomy but are not offered follow-up radiation therapy, they should ask their doctor why, [Dr. Quyen Chu, professor of surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center] recommended.

The study was published online recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

How to Make Surgery Safer
Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2015

"Little wonder that hospitals are searching for new ways to get their safety numbers up. One such effort involves helping hospitals pinpoint their own problems. Many hospitals are participating in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project, or NSQIP, overseen by the American College of Surgeons and adapted from an effort at Veterans Administration hospitals that helped decrease postoperative death rates by 47% from 1991 to 2006. 'All too often, patients are being harmed by preventable complications,' says Clifford Ko, a colorectal surgeon at UCLA and director of NSQIP. Many hospitals don’t collect reliable data on their own adverse events, and 'you can’t improve a hospital’s surgical quality if you can’t measure it.'"

Is da Vinci Robotic Surgery a Revolution or a Ripoff?
Healthline, February 12, 2015

"Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, the chair of the department of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York and chair of the board of governors of the American College of Surgeons, said surgeons are obligated to educate their patients on what the evidence says are the pros and cons of robotic surgery.

'Unless we inform the patient population on this, there will be a drive from the consumer that trumps everything else, because at that point hospitals and physicians are caught in a difficult dilemma,'Michelassi said. 'Hospitals and physicians are caught in the dilemma to either continue to deliver optimal care or to respond to market requests.'"

Trauma surgery may not be riskier at night
Reuters, February 6, 2015

"The findings also might not be relevant for more complex surgeries, said Dr. Carlos Pellegrini, chair of the surgery department at the University of Washington in Seattle and a past president of the American College of Surgeons.

'The exploratory laparotomy in general is a relatively straightforward procedure for which mortality or morbidity are very low,' said Pellegrini, who wasn’t involved in the study."

Infections Most Common Cause of Readmissions After Surgery
New York Times, February 3, 2015

"The researchers analyzed 2012 data from 346 hospitals involved in an American College of Surgeons quality improvement program. Results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study notes that hospital readmissions are a focus of nationwide efforts to control hospital costs and improve quality of patient care."

Studies Find Tracking Surgical Complications Doesn’t Improve Outcomes
Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2015

"Clifford Ko, director of the American College of Surgeons’ division of research and optimal patient care, said the data the two studies relied on, based on billing codes, aren’t accurate gauges of patient outcomes. He also said that most hospitals use the registry data individually, to target specific areas of care for improvement, not for broad comparisons. 'Hospitals need data, and it has to be good data,' Dr. Ko said."

January 2015

Trauma kits help police control severe bleeding, saving lives
Washington Post, January 26, 2015

"In 2012, the FBI and the American College of Surgeons gathered medical and law enforcement leaders from around the country to review such incidents and come up with ways to improve victim survival rates. They took inspiration from the emergency medical training and supplies soldiers receive for combat situations."

Saving Blood, Dollars and Lives
Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2015

"Following the right guidelines on blood transfusion could reverse these disturbing trends. Analyzing data on transfusions from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, we estimate that reducing blood usage by 30%—a fairly conservative target for eliminating waste—could result in a repurposing of 12 million nursing hours, annual reductions of 200,000 wound complications and eight million fewer patient days in the hospital; as many as 50,000 lives could be saved."

December 2014

Doc Groups Pan Meaningful Use Penalties
MedPage Today, December 19, 2014

"Frank Opelka, MD, medical director for quality and health policy at the Washington office of the American College of Surgeons, said he also found the penalty disappointing. 'It's extremely discouraging when a large number of physicians are not able to comply with the program when all of them would wish to perform exceedingly well,' he said in a phone interview. 'That leaves us deeply concerned about program's education and implementation -- is it too much, too fast, too soon? Is it that practices aren't ready, and now we're penalizing them?'"

Work hour limits for doctors in training don't improve patient safety
Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2014

“The other study, led by researchers from the American College of Surgeons and Northwestern University, focused on 535,499 patients who had surgeries in 131 hospitals. These researchers came to pretty much the same conclusion: ‘Reform was not associated with a change in the likelihood of death or serious morbidity,’ they wrote.”

November 2014

Doctors stumped as more breast cancer patients remove healthy breasts
Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2014

"Although there is no ideal mastectomy rate for early-stage breast cancers, the 2011 rate of 38.1% may be too high, the authors warn. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers from the American College of Surgeons recommends that no more than 50% of patients with early-stage breast cancer have mastectomies, while the recommended cap in Europe is only 30%.

'Current U.S. rates probably would not meet the European benchmark,' the researchers wrote.

The study was based on cases reported to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint project of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. About 70% of newly diagnosed cancers are reported to the database."

End to Global Payments a 'Nightmare,' Surgeons Say
HealthLeaders Media, November 12, 2014

"A new Medicare rule that unbundles global surgeons' fees for thousands of procedures not only bucks a national trend toward episode-based pay, it will confuse millions of beneficiaries who will receive a dozen or more bills instead of one, each requiring a 20% co-payment.

That's the concern of the American College of Surgeons, whose medical director, Frank Opelka, MD, says the policy, announced last month, will be 'an administrative burden for surgeons…a nightmare to track,' and ultimately, 'penny-wise and pound-foolish.'"

October 2014

What to Expect When You Have Surgery
Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2014

"Some organizations have programs to instruct patients in skills they will need after surgery. The American College of Surgeons offers a video-based tutorial to help ostomy patients—those who will have a surgically created opening in the abdomen to allow waste to leave the body—manage the condition and empty their bag at home. Another video guide helps patients prepare for recovery from a lung procedure, including pneumonia prevention."

Why you can't rely on cancer center ads
Consumer Reports, October 10, 2014

"The more than 1,500 centers accredited by the Commission on Cancer, a program of the American College of Surgeons, are required to meet stan­dards for quality, follow treatment guidelines, and track performance to improve care. You can find accredited centers on the commission’s website."

More Women Having Reconstruction Surgery After Breast Cancer Treatment
US News & World Report, October 3, 2014

"Breast reconstruction can be done with saline or silicone implants, or the patient's own abdominal tissue. Among high-risk patients, breast reconstruction with implants rose 14 percent and the use of a patient's own abdominal tissue rose 10 percent over 15 years. That's according to the study from the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

September 2014

Programs Aim to Standardize Surgical Care for Children
Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2014

“Studies show there are fewer complications, better survival and shorter hospital stays when newborns and children undergo surgery in hospitals with expert resources for pediatric patients. Because of their anatomy and growth stage, children have unique needs including specialized pediatric anesthesiologists, radiologists and emergency physicians. Yet close to half of pediatric surgeries take place in adult-focused general hospitals, which often lack dedicated pediatric staff and resources. That means children often don't receive optimal care and could face more postoperative risks, according to David Hoyt, executive director of the American College of Surgeons.”

Connecticut Cops Expand Training To Stop Bleeding
CBS Local, September 1, 2014

“The new wave of police training was spurred by recommendations made in Hartford by a group of law enforcement, medical and military experts including [Alexander Eastman, MD, FACS] who were brought together by the American College of Surgeons. The idea was to find ways to increase the number of survivors in mass shootings.”

August 2014

Gloucester sculptor crafts tribute to surgeon
Gloucester Times, August 14, 2014

“The late Dr. Ernest Codman, an icon in American surgery, finally received a headstone at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge nearly 74 years after his death. The artist who created the relief sculpture on the memorial headstone was Gloucester’s Daniel Altshuler.

Altshuler attended the recent unveiling at a dedication ceremony attended by leaders from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and other medical organizations at the cemetery, which is a National Historic Landmark.”

July 2014

Tennessee hospital quality program cuts complications 20%, saves 533 lives
FierceHealthcare, July 29, 2014

“Hospitals participating in the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative (TSQC) saved more than 500 lives and cut costs by more than $75 million.

The collaborative, established in 2008, announced it gathered clinical 30-day outcomes from 10 participating hospitals to analyze trends and identify best practices. The hospitals gathered data on more than 55,000 surgical procedures and 17 different surgical complication categories between 2009 and 2012, according to research presented at the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) National Conference.”

Surgical Robot Fails to Show Advantages in Treating Bladder Cancer
Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2014

“It's estimated that 15% to 22% of bladder removal procedures, known as radical cystectomies, are done robotically, according to data collected by the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society. Bladder cancer is expected to cause 15,600 deaths this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.”

Outcomes pioneer memorialized nearly 74 years after his death
Modern Healthcare, July 23, 2014

“The grave of a Boston surgeon considered by many to be the pioneer advocate for tracking patient outcomes and acknowledging medical errors was memorialized Tuesday by the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Ernest Codman, criticized by colleagues of his time for wanting to increase transparency, died in 1940, and his grave in a Cambridge, Mass., cemetery remained unmarked for nearly 74 years. More than a century after he introduced new concepts to drive improvements in healthcare outcomes, patient-safety experts say there's still a long way to go.”

Honoring a once-scorned voice for medical openness
Boston Globe, July 21, 2014

“Mount Auburn determined that it controlled a portion of the plot, and gave Warshaw permission to move forward with a memorial. Warshaw, who will become president of the American College of Surgeons in October, plans to make Codman’s accomplishments the theme of his opening speech in San Francisco.”

10 Changes in Surgery in 25 Years
U.S. News & World Report, July 15, 2014

“The American College of Surgeons says it has seen reduced infections during the past few years, thanks to new standards in care, such as decreasing operating room traffic and using chlorhexidine for preoperative baths. The Joint Commission created an implementation guide for hospitals that defines effective practices for better surgery outcomes. In Tennessee, for instance, a 10-hospital collaborative reduced complications and saved $2.2 million per 100 cases and saw a significant reduction in site infections, according to a study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

Surgeons tout benefits of Google Glass in operating room
FierceMedicalDevices, July 7, 2014

“A group of surgeons dubbed ‘Glass Explorers’ looked at applications for the wearable device in the operating room, such as integrated imaging, communicating with other surgeons, training new physicians and creating patient safety checklist apps. The surgeons found that using Glass in surgical procedures improved their concentration and allowed them to share first-person perspective with other physicians or trainees, according to a recent article in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.

Surgery for Melanoma Liver Mets Can Prolong Survival
Medscape, July 3, 2014

“Patients who can undergo complete surgical treatment of melanoma liver metastases should consider this option, say oncologists from California. In their experience, hepatic resection for metastatic melanoma significantly improves survival over medical treatment alone, they report in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

May 2014

Trauma surgeons want more people trained to assist in mass casualty incidents
Catholic Health World, May 13, 2014

“The efforts of the Hartford Consensus are having an impact. The American College of Surgeons and the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, two of the organizations that helped drive the Hartford Consensus, say more than 36,000 police officers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Phoenix, Dallas, New Orleans, Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C., will receive bleeding control kits and training this year.”

Expanding Medicaid increases access to subspecialty procedures: researchers
Modern Healthcare, May 8, 2014

“Dr. Aviram Giladi, a University of Michigan plastic surgery resident, and colleagues examined the records of 185,526 adults between ages 19 and 64 who underwent one of three surgical procedures between 1998 and 2006. The study in a Journal of the American College of Surgeons was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Plastic Surgery Foundation.”

Urologists Urged to Shape Health Policy—With Eye on Quality
OncLive, May 5, 2014

“‘Reform really needs realistic input,’ said the speaker, David Hoyt, MD, executive director of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). ‘It needs to be framed by what works. We are the ones that provide Congress that concept of what really works. We have got to participate in the regulatory phase; it is our mid-ship opportunity, and ultimately our patients depend upon it.’”

April 2014

Find a cancer-patient support group near you
The Seattle Times, April 20, 2014

“Fortunately, this lapse in the continuum of care has been recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, by cancer-center-accrediting programs such as the Commission on Cancer and by government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, which support cancer-control programs including the Survivorship Task Force. The result is that supportive services are increasingly available with cancer treatment." 

No Surgery Required for Children's Appendicitis
Yahoo! Health, April 17, 2014

“A research team tested whether appendicitis in children could be treated effectively with antibiotics, avoiding the serious procedure and recovery period associated with surgery… This study was published April 12 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

Marathon bombing prompts police to carry tourniquets
USA Today, April 17, 2014

“While the Boston tragedy served to accelerate the new equipment distribution, the series of mass-casualty shootings—especially the 2012 Connecticut elementary school massacre—started an examination last March of crisis response led by the American College of Surgeons, the FBI, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and other groups.”

ACS NSQIP Formula May Predict Readmission Risk After Surgery
Medscape, April 3, 2014

“Existing formulas used to identify patients at high risk for postsurgical complications may also prospectively identify patients at high risk for unplanned readmission after surgery, according to a recent study. Among patients deemed to be at very high risk for complications, defined as a risk higher than 15% based on the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) model, the odds of readmission were 10-fold greater than those of patients considered to be at very low risk.”

Safe Surgery Checklist Suggested at Recent Seminar
WLTX 19, April 3, 2014

“Representatives from the American College of Surgeons and the state’s hospital association are working to make surgery safer. Today they hosted a surgical health care forum to start up a community discussion on improving patient care. The safe surgery checklist includes procedures and patient identification, briefing the operating team and instrument protocol…By implementing the safe surgery checklist experts say they expect more than 500 lives per year in South Carolina to be saved.”

March 2014

How to reform the Medicare physician payment system
Boston Globe, March 25, 2014

“Over the last year, a group of congressional leaders have led a bipartisan, bicameral and inclusive process to reach consensus on how to repeal SGR and reform the Medicare physician payment system. They allowed the members of the medical community, including my organization, the American College of Surgeons, to work as partners with them to help resolve this difficult issue.”

The Doc Fix Broke - Health Care Edge: Brought to you by and the AMA
National Journal, March 5, 2014

“House Republicans--Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers--met Tuesday with representatives of the AMA, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medicine, the American College of Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Association, telling the industry representatives that pay-fors have put Congress in a gridlock…David Hoyt, executive director of the American College of Surgeons, said Tuesday after the meeting that there's a lot of work left to get the doc fix done, but believes Congress is still committed to finding a solution.”

February 2014

Report Criticizes L.A. County spending on emergency medical services
Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2014

“Auditors concluded that the county should contract with the American College of Surgeons to undertake a comprehensive assessment of its trauma care system and look at ways to better serve areas including Malibu, the eastern San Gabriel Valley, and large swathes of the Antelope Valley that don't have nearby trauma centers.”

Better Bariatric Surgery Outcomes Depend on Data, Accreditation
HealthLeaders Media, February 6, 2014

“The MBSAQIP melds two accreditation programs that had been operated separately, one by the American College of Surgeons (which accredited about 550 hospitals, and the other by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, which accredited 150 hospitals. Under the new combined program, hospitals will all have a specially trained nurse reviewer, ‘a person outside the direct medical practice’ to independently and accurately collect 100 or more patient variables abstracted manually from charts.”

January 2014

Riverside County Regional Med Center drastically cuts infection rates
Southern California Public Radio, January 31, 2014

“‘Improvement is sometimes a very complex, complicated process,’ said Dr. Clifford Ko, director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the American College of Surgeons. ‘And so anytime a hospital is able to improve on something like SSI, we like to learn from them and see what they did and share their successes and their experiences with everyone else.’”

Health Leaders Discuss Lessons Learned From Asiana Crash Response
CBS San Francisco, January 14, 2014

“The American College of Surgeons met on Tuesday in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, where health leaders discussed the lessons learned from the emergency response to the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214.”

Risk Factors for Complications After Knee Replacement
Yahoo! Health, January 9, 2014

“Dr. Belmont and team analyzed data from 15,321 patients in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) between 2006 and 2010. Patients were excluded if they had knee replacement surgery on both knees.”

Surgeon-led mortality review can improve patient outcomes
FierceHealthcare, January 3, 2014

“Surgeon-led mortality reviews resulted in improved observed-to-expected ratios and University HealthSystem Consortium postsurgical relative rankings, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”