Visit ACS Central in the Exhibit Hall to learn about patient skills training programs

Certain surgical procedures require a greater level of patient involvement in preparation and recovery. The ACS has developed in-depth programs to provide the education and training needed to ensure optimal outcomes.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires health care providers to educate patients and their families about post-facility discharge care, including the provision of written and verbal instructions on what to expect during recovery and what to do if issues arise, and to evaluate the patient/caregiver’s understanding. Patients forget 40 to 80 percent of everything that they hear in the physician’s office by the time they get home, so educational resources are essential.

The ACS Surgical Patient Education Program provides surgeons and other health care professionals with simulation-based patient training kits designed to preoperatively teach patients necessary self-care skills and ease the transition to home care. Each kit contains an instructional booklet and DVD demonstrating these skills with step-by-step instructions, equipment and a practice model, a checklist to guide and validate skill acquisition, website references, and a self-evaluation. Kits are administered preoperatively by health care professionals and then sent home with the patient. Patients and their families can then engage in repetitive practice that supports their confidence in managing postoperative care.

Each skills kit has been developed in collaboration with patients and a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals and follows a similar model. The first kit that the ACS created was the ostomy home skills kit. Both patients and health care professionals have reported satisfaction with that program, and patients who completed the ACS Ostomy Home Skills Training Kit experienced better outcomes when compared with those who did not. In addition to feeling more prepared before surgery and postdischarge, those patients who completed the program reported feeling more prepared were significantly less likely to need additional health care resources, and used fewer services in the first two weeks following surgery, with emergency department visits reduced by 50 percent.

“With an increase in outpatient procedures and early discharge, patients and families have to assume a greater responsibility for their recovery. Quality education, such as the home skills program, helps surgeons to ensure a safe transition from hospital to home,” said ACS Patient Education Committee Co-Chair John Daly, MD, FACS.

The Home Skills Kits include adult ostomy, pediatric ostomy, feeding tube, your lung operation, central lines, and wound (lacerations & abrasions, surgical wounds). Blood thinner therapy and tracheostomy programs will be coming soon.

Learn more about the skills kits and other patient education materials by visiting the Division of Education Patient Education booth in the ACS Central or go to