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

ACS in the News 2019

December 2019

Surgeons are talking about a once-taboo topic: Their own pain from operating
Philadelphia Inquirer, December 18, 2019

"But doctors said it can’t all be up to them. 'Other industries have been better at looking at processes to avoid worker injuries,' said David Welsh, a Batesville, Ind., surgeon who has surveyed peers for the American College of Surgeons. Some hope that exoskeletons, wearable devices that are gaining popularity on industrial assembly lines because they reduce muscle strain, can also help surgeons and OR staff."

Books, Binders, Bleed-Control Kits: How School Shootings Are Changing Classroom Basics
Kaiser Health News, December 11, 2019

"The American College of Surgeons, a member of the Hartford Consensus, launched the Stop the Bleed campaign to distribute the kits and to promote training so that more people understand how to stop bleeding if responding to an emergency. Jacobs said the effort has reached 100 countries and trained 1.5 million people."

November 2019

Surgeons Test New Wearable Tech That Helps Measure Operating Skills
KPIX, November 14, 2019

"Now a Stanford scientist and her team are using the technology to help physicians boost the art of surgery. KPIX 5 got an exclusive look at their unusual experiment which recently unfolded at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

The convention center was the location for the annual meeting for the American College of Surgeons, where roughly 10,000 surgeons from around the world converged to learn the latest in surgical techniques and to share information."

Sensory simulators give doctors a better feel for performance improvement
AMA, November 11, 2019

"Dr. Pugh has set up simulators to quantify clinical procedural skills in cardiac surgery, intubation and ventral hernia, among other areas. Through a partnership with the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Pugh in late October set up a Surgical Metrics Project booth in the College’s conference exhibit hall to build a database of surgical decision-making and technical approaches during the repair of a small bowel enterotomy."

One-third of lung cancer patients not getting recommended treatment
United Press International, November 8, 2019

"The findings are based on a review of nearly 442,000 lung cancer cases diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 in the U.S. National Cancer Database.

The researchers found that 62 percent of all the patients received treatment according to the guidelines, and nearly 22 percent received no treatment. The rest received treatment that was less intensive than recommended."

October 2019

Recent Trends in the Treatment and Prognosis of Male Breast Cancer
ASCO Post, October 9, 2019

"To examine how male breast cancer has been treated in the United States in recent years, and to identify factors associated with patient prognosis, a team led by Kathryn Ruddy, MD, MPH, and Siddhartha Yadav, MBBS, of the Mayo Clinic, analyzed information from the National Cancer Database on men diagnosed with stage I to III breast cancer between 2004 and 2014. A total of 10,873 patients were included, with a median age at diagnosis of 64 years old."

Historic River North auditorium for sale
Crain's Chicago Business, October 3, 2019

"The six-story building was constructed as a memorial to one of the founders of ACS, Dr. John Murphy, and served as a place for ACS meetings and an education center for surgeons."

September 2019

Kidney Dialysis Patients Are More Likely to Face Complications Following Hip Fracture Surgery
Yale School of Medicine, September 24, 2019

"The researchers used the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which provides national information regarding the 30-day outcomes of post-operative patients. They looked over 16,000 patients who required surgery for hip fracture, of which 288 (1.7 percent) were on dialysis.  Of those not on dialysis, 23.1 percent suffered varying short term adverse events, compared with a 39.5 percent complication rate seen in the dialysis patient group."

You’ve Survived Cancer. What Comes Next?
The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2019

"The health-care industry is facing increasing pressure to adapt to such success. In 2015, the Commission on Cancer, a program of the American College of Surgeons, began requiring that, as a condition of accreditation, hospitals provide patients with a survivorship-care plan."

Opinion: A public health approach reduced deaths from car crashes. It can do the same for gun violence
Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2019

"In February, more than 45 of the largest medical, legal and injury-prevention organizations in the U.S. came together for an inaugural medical summit on firearm injury prevention. They reached a historic agreement to recognize firearm violence as a public health crisis in the U.S. and supported a comprehensive public health approach to solve it. The summit provided a road map of practical interventions to address the firearm injury crisis"

A Patient's Guide to Surgery
U.S. News & World Report, September 11, 2019

"Surgery is classified in several ways, including by its magnitude, location in the body from head to toe and type of condition (such as orthopedic, neurologic or oncologic). Elective surgery can be planned in advance, whereas emergency surgery is needed right away for conditions like acute appendicitis. Complex conditions and procedures may require multiple surgical specialists.

The two basic types of surgery are major and minor, says Dr. John Daly, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and co-chair of the patient education committee for the American College of Surgeons."

Frailty may increase complications after total shoulder arthroplasty
Healio, September 1, 2019

"The authors of the article 'Modified frailty index is an effective risk-stratification tool for patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty' used the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database to study association between five-item modified frailty index in patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty and patient outcomes. This retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the NSQIP database demonstrated that frailty is associated with increased rate of 30-day postoperative complications, reoperation, readmission, length of stay, adverse hospital discharge and mortality rate. These findings will help risk stratification in patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty."

August 2019

Learning how to "Stop the Bleed"
CBS News, August 18, 2019

"The 'Stop the Bleed' campaign is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons, the Committee on Trauma, and the Hartford Consensus. You can learn more about it and purchase a bleeding control kit at"

Tap know-how to prevent firearm deaths
Seattle Times, August 14, 2019

"'We know how to do this,' says Dr. Eileen Bulger, professor of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Chief of Trauma at Harborview. 'We have to tackle the big picture, the 40,000 people that die every year in the country from firearm violence. We can’t forget them.'

Society has to tackle the problem comprehensively, considering the role of people, equipment and environment, said Bulger, one of 22 co-authors of the American College of Surgeons’ consensus recommendations to reduce firearm injury, death and disability. Enlist gun owners as part of the solution and focus on the 'vast middle ground' between ideological extremes."

Gun violence seen as public health problem
KSAT, August 7, 2019

"Stewart said he remains optimistic given a recent medical summit hosted by the American College of Surgeons, with physicians and researchers from a wide variety of medical specialties representing all sides of the issue.

'When 45 medical organizations come together and they basically commit to it, I have confidence that this is moving forward,' Stewart said."

The Talk Seniors Need To Have With Doctors Before Surgery
Kaiser Health News, August 1, 2019

"Older patients, it turns out, often have different priorities than younger ones. More than longevity, in many cases, they value their ability to live independently and spend quality time with loved ones, according to Dr. Clifford Ko, professor of surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

Now new standards meant to improve surgical care for older adults have been endorsed by the American College of Surgeons. All older patients should have the opportunity to discuss their health goals and goals for the procedure, as well as their expectations for their recovery and their quality of life after surgery, according to the standards."

July 2019

Harvard, American College of Surgeons team up to improve health care quality
BenefitsPRO, July 24, 2019

"The American College of Surgeons and the Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness are launching a program to quantify outcomes and costs of health care to improve both quality and the bottom line.

The new program, to be called THRIVE (Transforming Health Care Results by Investing in Value and Excellence), will be piloted with 10 to 15 hospitals and will focus on measuring the full cycle of care, including surgical, medical, behavioral and social elements, for three surgical conditions."

New standards aim to improve surgery for the oldest patients
Associated Press, July 19, 2019

"The American College of Surgeons launched a program Friday to encourage hospitals around the country to adopt 30 new standards to optimize surgery on patients who are 75 and older — information seniors and their families eventually will be able to use in choosing where to get care."

Hospitals look to cut opioids from surgery and beyond
Modern Healthcare, July 8, 2019

"Dr. John Daly, co-chair of the Patient Education Committee at the American College of Surgeons, said the decision whether or not to prescribe opioids has to be weighed with an understanding of both the benefits and risks for the patient.

'The benefit of opioids is that they do reduce pain,' Daly said. 'If a surgeon is going to utilize opioid-free surgery for some procedures then they would need to adopt other mechanisms for reducing pain, because it’s not the goal to simply eliminate opioids.'"

Minnesota surgeon, 87, honored for pioneering procedures
Star Tribune, July 6, 2019

"The world’s most renowned surgery association thinks so. Recently, Buchwald was the recipient of an international medical award from the American College of Surgeons.

'I was very honored,' he said of the Jacobson Innovation Award, which he received surrounded by family members at a ceremony in Chicago. The award, named for Dr. Julius H. Jacobson II, honors those who have made innovative contributions to the field of surgery."

June 2019

American College of Surgeons creates new standards for geriatric surgery: 5 Qs with a physician behind the framework
Becker's Clinical Leadership & Infection Control, June 27, 2019

"The American College of Surgeons' Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery plans to release an updated set of care standards in July at the ACS Quality and Safety Conference in Washington, D.C.

The 30 new standards aim to improve surgical care for older patients and represent the culmination of four years of research and planning. 

Ronnie Rosenthal, MD, co-principal investigator of the CQGS project and professor of surgery and geriatrics at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., oversaw development of the national standards. 

Here, Dr. Rosenthal discusses how the standards address issues in geriatric surgical care and long-term goals for improving geriatric surgery nationwide."

Doctors weigh in on why teen surviving shark attack is more than a miracle
ABC News, June 18, 2019

"Under the leadership of a trauma surgeon, Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Jr., and the American College of Surgeons, a massive educational campaign has been undertaken. The focus of 'Stop the Bleed' is to train non-medical personnel to stop life-threatening hemorrhage. Integral to the training is early application of tourniquets. Our trauma center has trained over a thousand citizens in our trauma system, distributing hundreds of tourniquets."

Number of cancer survivors set to exceed 22 million by 2030, June 11, 2019

"The American Cancer Society released a cancer survivorship blueprint to better understand priority areas for care delivery, research, education, and policy for those who have beat cancer. Furthermore, the American College of Surgeons, the Alliance for Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care, and the American Cancer Society are all working to better the quality of rehabilitation and posttreatment cancer care."

The Elderly Are Getting Complex Surgeries. Often It Doesn’t End Well.
New York Times, June 7, 2019

"[Dr. Clifford Ko] and Dr. Ronnie Rosenthal, a surgeon and geriatrician at the Yale University School of Medicine, lead the American College of Surgeons’s Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery.

As older people undergo more operations, the coalition has focused on the results. Perhaps unsurprisingly, older surgical patients often fare worse than younger ones."

Parliament Hill staff, MPs, trained to save lives during a catastrophe
CBC, June 5, 2019

"The idea came out of a committee led by the American College of Surgeons to create a national policy 'to enhance survivability from active shooter and intentional mass casualty events.'

One of the goals is to add bleeding control kits in the same public spaces alongside defibrillators."

May 2019

Opioid prescriptions for six surgeries down by half, study says
United Press International, May 31, 2019

"Between 2010 and 2016, new opioid prescriptions from surgeons have increased by 18 percent, new findings show. At the same time, physicians have started prescribing alternative pain killers, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to help slow that trend -- and it may be be effective.

More than half of patients who underwent one of six surgeries took no opioids after the procedure, according to a study published Thursday in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Military Considers Sweeping Changes to Surgical Safety Programs
U.S. News & World Report, May 23, 2019

"These measures include expanding participation in the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program to include both military and civilian hospitals that accept TriCare patients. All 48 military hospitals already participate. In addition, the report recommends that the Military Health Service adopt a policy in place at VA Medical Centers designed to assure that patients who need complex and high-risk surgery are admitted to VA hospitals equipped to provide it." 

Keeping Engagement in Times of Change
American Association for Physician Leadership, May 6, 2019

"Just as space is a valuable commodity, time is a precious resource. Leaders can help eliminate waste by closely examining clinic staffing, says Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, professor emeritus in the department of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and a past president of the American College of Surgeons."

April 2019

Go from Bystander to Hero: Learn How to Stop the Bleed
Daily Herald, April 24, 2019

"Since May is National Stop the Bleed month, the American College of Surgeons and Chicago Committee on Trauma have added extra public classes around the greater Chicago metropolitan region to train thousands of Chicago area citizens to go from bystander to hero. It only takes a few minutes to die from potentially preventable bleeding and in this hands-on class you can learn to save the victim's life by learning how to identify life-threatening bleeding and how to stop it until medical personnel arrive."

Gallstones Are the Pregnancy Complication No One Warned Me About

Good Housekeeping, April 18, 2019

"Gallbladder disease in pregnancy contributes to premature birth, a February paper from the American College of Surgeons found. The study concluded that, in order to preserve mothers’ health and allow babies more time to develop, surgical intervention in pregnant women should be avoided as much as possible."

Turning Bystanders Into First Responders
New Yorker, April 8, 2019

"Jacobs was a regent of the American College of Surgeons, an organization with some eighty thousand members worldwide. At an A.C.S. meeting soon after Sandy Hook, he urged his colleagues to focus on mitigating losses in Intentional Mass Casualty Events. 'Obviously, prevention is the way to go,' he said. 'But, once something has happened, how can we increase survival?'"

March 2019

Frailty before surgery tied to more complications, higher costs
Reuters, March 28, 2019

"Much of the previous research linking frailty to worse surgical outcomes has focused on elderly patients or other high-risk groups, researchers note in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

In the current study, however, some relatively young people in their 40s and 50s had high levels of frailty, Isbell said."

Kentucky Medicaid expansion boosts colorectal cancer screening, survival rates
FierceHealthcare, March 25, 2019

"Under its Medicaid expansion, rates of patient screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) in Kentucky have increased dramatically, according to a new study.

Kentucky currently ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for incidence and mortality involving cancer. It was also one of the first states to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion option, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

The Moose: A Rare But Often Deadly Road Hazard
U.S. News & World Report, March 19, 2019

"Moose collisions are most frequent after sunset and, to a lesser extent, near sunrise. However, the risk of a fatal collision with a moose is almost three times higher at midday than at other times during the day, perhaps because of speed and other driver factors. Seasonally, moose collisions are more common in the late spring and summer.

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

Outpatient, short-stay THA may be safe in healthy Medicare patients
Healio, March 13, 2019

"Greenky and his colleagues collected 30-day rates of complications, mortality, readmissions and reoperations for all patients aged 65 years or older undergoing primary THA who were recorded in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database between 2015 and 2016."

A lawmaker learned of an active shooter in her state during a hearing about gun violence prevention
CNN, March 7, 2019

"The American College of Surgeons 'supports an appropriations request of $50 million specifically for firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research through the CDC' as part of the 2020 fiscal year, Dr. Ronald Stewart, director of trauma programs at the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, said in a prepared statement for delivery to lawmakers at the hearing."

February 2019

What it takes to get patients over 65 through surgery
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 2019

"The John A. Hartford Foundation and the American College of Surgeons have been working to create geriatric surgery guidelines that take the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs of seniors into account. After being piloted in seven health systems, those standards, which encourage pre-surgical cognitive testing, are ready to roll out nationally in June, said Marcus Escobedo, senior program officer for the foundation."

Sweeping Study Finds Overlapping Surgeries Generally Safe — With Exceptions
WBUR, February 26, 2019

"The JAMA paper underscores that patients have the right to know if their surgery will overlap with another patient's.

That is already the emphatic position of the American College of Surgeons, says its executive director Dr. David Hoyt: 'We very strongly feel that this should be something discussed with the patient as part of the consent document,' he says."

Pregnant Women Should Delay Gallbladder Surgery, Study Finds
U.S. News & World Report, February 20, 2019

"Women who had the gallbladder surgery in the third trimester often stayed in the hospital longer (three days versus one day), incurred more costs (nearly $20,000 versus $17,500), and had higher 30-day readmission rates (10 percent versus 4 percent) than women who waited for their operation until after they gave birth, the study authors said.

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

Why patients should care about Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)
Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 12, 2019

"The concept was started in the early 2000s in Europe; I was a National Clinic Adviser during its implementation. It’s now a standard of care in the U.K. Recognizing its benefit to patients, ERAS is now championed by the American College of Surgeons and taking hold in the U.S. ever since its introduction here in 2010."

Battle tested: Ottawa's tactical paramedics are using war-zone developed gear
Ottawa Citizen, February 9, 2019

"Battlefield lessons quickly translated into civilian use. It took only a few years for what is called 'pre-hospital trauma life support' to be endorsed by the American College of Surgeons, said Forestier, who works occasionally in the emergency room at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital."

More Nevadans Are Learning To Treat Gunshot Wounds
KUNR, February 4, 2019

"A few months later, the American College of Surgeons—a group of more than 80,000 surgeons worldwide—formed the Hartford Consensus under the guidance of Jacobs. Their work led to the creation of Stop the Bleed, which has adapted military protocols for treating injuries."

When Is the Surgeon Too Old to Operate?
New York Times, February 1, 2019

"A 2016 statement from the American College of Surgeons, for instance, recommended physical, visual and neurocognitive testing for older surgeons — but on an entirely voluntary basis, with no requirement that they disclose the results."

January 2019

Rates of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer rising regardless of sex, race
Healio, January 29, 2019

"Faraji and colleagues analyzed data from the National Cancer Database on patients diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx between 2010 and 2015 who had available data on HPV status."

CS/HIPEC Deemed Safer Than Other High-Risk Cancer Surgeries
Cancer Therapy Advisor, January 25, 2019

"A comparative outcome analysis of more than 30,000 patients from the the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS NSQIP) database who had undergone either cytoreductive surgery/hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CS/HIPEC) or specific high-risk cancer surgery showed lower surgical complication rates with the former procedure.1 This article was published online on January 4, 2019, in JAMA Network Open."

Race May Matter for Liver Transplant Success
U.S. News & World Report, January 15, 2019

"After accounting for other factors, the researchers concluded that a race-matched transplant independently predicted improved overall survival. Specifically, matched-race transplant recipients had a 34 percent better chance of long-term survival, while black patients who received a liver from a white donor had a 53 percent increased risk of death.

This survival advantage for race-matched liver recipients did not become apparent until one year after transplant, according to the study. The results were published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

Column: To better treat patients, hospitals should keep the family close
Tampa Bay Times, January 2, 2019

“Social health has a significant impact on physical health. An analysis of multiple studies conducted by Yale University researchers found that social interaction helps patients recovering from coronary artery disease or bypass surgery. The more a patient felt supported by his social network, the more quickly he recovered.

A separate study published by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that patients with smaller social networks were more likely than their peers with larger networks to stay in the hospital for longer than a week.”