ACS Releases New Standards for Overlapping and Conurrent Surgeries

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) released a much anticipated update to its “Statements on Principles” addressing both concurrent and overlapping surgeries.

More than six months after a Spotlight Report from the Boston Globe into the concurrent surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital, the ACS updates stipulate “a primary attending surgeon’s involvement in concurrent or simultaneous surgeries on two different patients in two different rooms is not appropriate.”

ACS also outlined two scenarios in which overlapping operations may occur. In both situations, the organization says patients must be informed of the overlapping surgery.

“The performance of overlapping procedures should not negatively impact the seamless and timely flow of either procedure,” the guidelines state.

Critics told the Boston Globe the changes did little to change unsafe surgical practices associated with double-booking surgeries.

Read the updated guidelines here.

For the Boston Globe article, click here.