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

American College of Surgeons Launches Home Skills Program for Patients Who Require Feeding Tubes

Applied Medical Technology grant will allow for the development and distribution of 2,500 kits to educate patients and families about delivering self-care


CHICAGO (April 11, 2014): The American College of Surgeons (ACS) today announced a new initiative to improve outcomes for patients requiring an enteral feeding tube (EFT). ACS will release a new feeding tube skills kit, a structured teaching and verification program that utilizes engaging media, practice equipment, and checklists to educate patients and families about delivering self-care. Patients who cannot swallow or fully absorb nutrients due to disease or injury typically require a feeding tube for nutrition.

The feeding tube kit is the second in a series developed by the Surgical Patient Education Program of the ACS Division of Education. The new EFT program builds on the success of the ACS home skills program for patients with an ostomy, and will provide the opportunity for patients and their caregivers to learn and practice the skills needed for optimal recovery and management of enteral nutrition.

The ACS Surgical Patient Education Program plans to produce, distribute and evaluate 2,500 home skills kits over the next two years with support from an educational grant from Applied Medical Technology, Inc. (AMT). “Applied Medical Technology is proud to partner with the ACS to support patients and their surgical caregivers with evidence-based education materials on feeding tube management post-discharge. AMT is committed to the care of their patients through education, innovation, quality products and building customer loyalty.  We have focused on enteral feeding for over 25 years and it is our core concern and business,” AMT Founder George Picha, MD, FACS, said.

The development of this program comes at a critical time as new requirements are implemented throughout the health care system to enhance patient education and engagement. Also, the large number of patients requiring a feeding tube provides a need for this initiative. There are currently 550,000 cases of head and neck cancer annually, and between 225,000 to 385,000 of those require a feeding tube as a part of treatment.1,2 This program is ideal for all certified providers and hospitals to help them meet the patient education core Meaningful Use requirement. 

Each kit will contain an instructional booklet and DVD demonstrating feeding tube management, a feeding tube practice model, a checklist to guide skill acquisition, website references and self-evaluation. The educational content also describes potential complications and risks.  

While the procedure of feeding tube insertion is very safe, there is a high rate of long-term complications in both the hospital and home setting. “With an increase in out-patient procedures and early discharge, patients and families have to assume a greater responsibility for their recovery. Quality education such as the EFT program helps surgeons to ensure a safe transition from hospital to home,” ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, said.

In order to develop a national consensus on the best methods to teach patients and their families about feeding tube management, this program is being developed in collaboration with patients, the Advisory Councils of the American College of Surgeons for pediatric surgery, otolaryngology, general surgery, and the American Pediatric Surgical Association, American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association, Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Association, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, Society of Pediatric Nursing, ACS Commission on Cancer, and American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 

The EFT Program follows the successful model previously established for patients requiring ostomies.  Since 2010, over 30,000 ostomy kits have been distributed by surgical professionals to patients. A pilot study of the ostomy program found that patients not using the ostomy home skills kit needed significantly more help and were twice as likely to visit the ER in the two weeks following discharge. Both surgical professionals and patients who evaluated the ostomy kit rated it as the number one resource when compared to other tools for helping to prepare for postoperative care and recovery. 

Note: Patients and surgical professionals will be able to order the enteral feeding tube home skills kit online through the ACS website at:
The educational content of the kit will also be available on the ACS website.

1 Stenson KM. Epidemiology and risk factors for head and neck cancer. UpToDate. Available at:
2 Koyfman SA, Adelstein DJ. Enteral feeding tubes in patients undergoing definitive chemoradiation therapy for head-and-neck cancer: a critical review. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Nov 1;84(3):581-589

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About Applied Medical Technology, Inc.
Applied Medical Technology, Inc. (Brecksville, OH) is dedicated to providing advancements in medical research, product development and manufacturing of health care products, guided by the underlying theme of improving the quality of life for the individual, while also developing products and new technologies to address anticipated needs within specialized markets.


Dan Hamilton
American College of Surgeons