ACS patient education website supports efforts to help patients make informed decisions
Patients commonly use the Internet to access health care information. Recognizing the challenge of finding credible resources, and the critical role patients play in their recovery, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) new website www.surgicalpatienteducation.org
supports the surgical community with the resources for informed decision making and full patient participation. Our partnership with surgical specialty organizations, key professional associations, and the National Library of Medicine allows the ACS to bring evidence based reviewed materials about specific operations and surgical care.
The site provides links to Medline Plus, the National Library of Medicine's website specific to consumers. The materials meet the ACS guidelines for informed consent, including pre- and postoperative education. Members may attain permission to provide a link from their site direct to the ACS and have the ability to meet the "meaningful use" criteria relevant to patient education, as well as support in keeping patients informed. The core set objective is to provide patients with an electronic copy of their discharge instructions and the secondary objective is to provide patient-specific resources and education. The ACS worked with the NLM so that single copies can now be provided to patients.
Based on feedback from thousands of patients, the College has developed a total education package, including material about the following: important questions to ask, disease and procedure information, medications, lab and test interpretation, pain management, quitting smoking before surgery, cancer guidelines, a surgeon and hospital/cancer care finder, and a medical library. The website also provides links to federally funded clinics and prescription assistance. Our new video and skills education series provides step-by-step guidelines for postoperative home care and has been shown to help patients and their families confidently provide care and reduce the need for additional health care services.
Because 77 percent of consumers contacted said they wanted health information they could use when consulting with their physician, providing patients with Internet resources increases satisfaction scores, making this website a win for patients and surgical practices.
The site can be previewed at the Division of Education Surgical Patient Education Booth located in the ACS Resource Center in McCormick Place West. Permission to link directly to the ACS Surgical Patient Education website will be considered and granted upon request.