Newswise — CHICAGO: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has been awarded a $100,000 planning grant to enhance diagnostic accuracy in clinical registries, with a particular focus on the care of older adult patients undergoing emergency general surgery (EGS). The grant is part of a collaborative initiative led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS). The initiative is generously funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and supplemented by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

“This initiative advances our ongoing efforts to refine the quality and safety of emergency surgical care for older adults. By improving diagnostic accuracy, we not only enhance clinical outcomes, but also address critical aspects like patient independence and quality of life,” said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, Executive Director & CEO of the ACS.

Enhancing Geriatric Emergency Surgery Through Improved Diagnostics

This diagnostic feedback project for clinicians treating older adult emergency general surgery patients will address the unique diagnostic challenges faced by this demographic. The older adult population, constituting a substantial portion of EGS admissions, often presents complex medical histories and age-related vulnerabilities that can obscure accurate diagnoses. This leads to adverse outcomes, discordant care goals, and increased healthcare costs. The ACS project will focus on improving diagnostics at critical points, including the diagnosis of primary diseases, comorbidities, and postoperative complications.

“This project is not just about improving diagnostics; it’s about transforming how we care for our aging population in emergency settings,” said Clifford Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, Director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the ACS. “We are extremely grateful to receive this grant to help us address this problem that will only grow if we don’t address it using a rigorous, scientifically tested approach.”

A Structured Approach to Diagnostic Improvement

The ACS plans to utilize the grant for a three-phase approach:

  1. Literature Review: Conducting a comprehensive review of existing literature to identify diagnostic gaps and strategies.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Facilitating focus groups and convening experts to prioritize diagnostic needs from expert and patient perspectives.
  3. Feedback Intervention Design: Developing a diagnostic feedback intervention and evaluating its effectiveness, barriers, and facilitators.

Long-Term Impact and Expansion Potential

The completion of this planning grant is expected to lead to the pilot testing of the diagnostic feedback mechanism in a variety of hospital settings. The long-term vision includes expanding this mechanism to over 2,000 hospitals associated with the ACS, significantly enhancing diagnostic accuracy and patient-centered care across the nation.

About the American College of Surgeons

The 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 approximately 90,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. "FACS" designates that a surgeon is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.