Putting your patients first with quality surgical education resources

In keeping with the theme “Putting Our Patients First,” the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Patient Education Program has developed an extensive collection of evidence-based patient education resources to help ACS members assure patient-centered care. From informational brochures that explain surgical procedures and engage patients in informed decision making to home skills kits that prepare patients and their caretakers in the critical role they play in recovery, all the ACS Surgical Patient Education Program materials can be viewed online at www.facs.org/patienteducation or in print for anyone seeking to empower patients with education and preparation.

The Surgical Home Skills series gives patients and caretakers access to full color booklets and videos with step-by-step skill instruction and checklists in the prep and home management of the care of an ostomy, feeding tube, or central line, and for managing wound care or following a lung operation. Practice equipment allows hand-on experience with complex skills. Patients who use the kits report fewer problems, the use of less resources, and fewer emergency room visits, and have greater confidence in self-care and overall satisfaction.

The Wound Home Management Skills program includes resources for the care of complex lacerations, abrasions, and skin tears; surgical wounds and drains; pressure ulcers; diabetic foot ulcers; and venous leg ulcers and lymphedema. The kits include instruction and skills demonstration based on the consensus of a team of multidisciplinary wound care experts and guidelines. The kits also include checklists for essential daily care and comprehensive discharge plans, including all home care needs and resources.

The Central Line Home Skills program prepares patients and caretakers with an overview of all types of central lines (CVAD), understanding the circulatory system and equipment, including a CVAD model to practice flushing the line, administering medication, changing the needless connector and dressing, and troubleshooting at home. All material meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines found at www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/index.html.

The Feeding Tube Home Skills Kits include training on the care of all types of adult and pediatric feeding tubes to enable patients and caretakers to have a greater understanding of feeding tubes, their digestive system, and the administration of feedings and medications. A feeding tube simulation model with extension sets and syringes is included with each kit, as well as a comprehensive booklet and detailed skills video to guide practice. Patients and families report that using the feeding tube kit answered many of their questions, and they used it as a teaching tool for other family members.

Your Lung Operation is the first in a planned Surgical Cancer series that will guide patients through the surgical experience of a patient with cancer. Patient preparation before cancer surgery can be extensive and this program will help patients understand their diagnosis, the type of operation they will need, home preparation, participation in clinical trials, pain management, discharge, recovery, and survivorship needs. Your Lung Program matches the staging and guidelines from www.lungcancer.org and recommendations from the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Your Surgical Breast Program will be the next available patient education resource in this series.

The Patient Education Committee has been sponsoring 30-minute drop-in interactive sessions in the ACS Theatre highlighting the Skills Programs and innovations in patient care and transition to home. The sessions run through Wednesday in the ACS Theatre, which is located at ACS Central, Moscone Center South, Halls ABC. Consult the Clinical Congress App or schedule for program listings, or visit the Patient Education section at ACS Central for more information.