A reinvention of your AAOS
The AAOS in 2005 InitiativeWhat was, what is, what will be
Change is underway from top to bottom
By Lawrence E. Rosenthal, PhD
In the middle and late 1990s, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) was enjoying growth in its membership; growth, and expansion of products and services to its members; and strong financial growth. All seemed to be in order with the universe.
However, those whose job it was to scan the horizon began to notice certain disturbing conditions and emerging trends that, if not understood and addressed, could quickly change the picture from pleasant weather to disruptive storms. Among the impending organizational storm cloudschallenges and threatsapproaching the AAOS were the following:
Dynamic program for the future
As a result, in 1999, the then second vice president, Richard Gelberman, MD, and I presented a strategy to address these concerns to the AAOS Presidential leadership. A think tank would be convened, and through a series of conferences and research activities, would study these threats and challenges and their potential impact on the AAOS.
A name was needed to identify the initiative and quickly present an image to those hearing about and seeing its activities and details. Thus was born the name The AAOS in 2005. The then Presidential leadership and the Board of Directors charged Drs. Gelberman and myself with carrying out the goals of the AAOS in 2005 initiative.
From this direction we embarked on an 18-month process. The result was no less than a reinvention of your AAOS so it would be positioned to continue to meet your needs as a member as well as making your membership a more valuable asset to your practice and to the profession of orthopaedics.
The concept for AAOS in 2005 was detailed in the October 2000 issue of the Bulletin. Between May 2000 and February 2001, a series of formal implementation and business plans were developed and presented for Board approval to launch the programmatic vision of The AAOS in 2005. Following is a summary of the accomplishments achieved since then by the project team and the Board of Directors in implementing AAOS in 2005.
New frontier in education
In the education domain, the Board of Directors made a major commitment to providing continuing education for orthopaedists through the Internet and authorized the development of an Internet-based knowledge base for physicians. This concept became "Orthopaedic Knowledge On-line" (OKO), which was launched in October 2001,18 months after its authorization.
Its design concepts incorporated the principles of interactive and adult learning requirements, provision of evidence-based research through a rich integration of printed reference sources, and the integration of audio and visual media through slides and streaming video.
Higher level in practice management
The Internet was also selected as the best means of disseminating information regarding practice management knowledge. However, the question that remained was what specific practice management products and services were needed by the Fellowship. The Marketing Department was directed to conduct a series of focus groups and an in-depth market survey to further test the focus group results to answer this question.
Results of this survey showed that almost 90 percent of AAOS members wanted information on marketing a medical practice, more than 70 percent wanted to know more about CPT coding and more than 75 percent wanted to better understand compliance with the fraud and abuse policies of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Based on the research as well as input from practicing orthopaedic surgeons and BONES administrators, the Internet-based Practice Management Center will be launched on the AAOS Website. The first phase of the Center, to be rolled out during the fourth quarter of 2002, will include the following:
During 2003, additional content will be added to the Center in areas such as third party contracting, benchmarking, best practices and technological advances. In addition, sample forms, policies and procedures will be made available that orthopaedists can download and tailor for their own use.
Raising the bar in research
Four major research initiatives will build upon the Academys role as the leading authority on musculoskeletal conditions and improve the care of patients. They seek to operationalize the concept of the AAOS being THE data and information resource on orthopaedic care and disease management and include the following:
Encouraging member participation
Organizationally the leadership recognized that it was necessary to streamline and update the AAOS structure to make it more responsive to member needs as well as to increase your participation and involvement in the organization. The AAOS in 2005 team proposed the following innovations:
The right people in the right place
Fellows opportunities to serve the AAOS will be further enhanced because of the organizational principle adopted by which member volunteers will be appointed to serve on councils, committees and project teams by virtue of their skills, interest and experience in the activity in which the organizational unit is engaged. Fellows will now be able to apply for these volunteer opportunities via the Internet, because the positions will be announced and posted on the AAOS web site, along with the necessary application activities.
This new system is known as Knowledge, Experience and Interest (KEI). It was developed to streamline the selection process to more precisely identify volunteers with the expertise and time to devote to AAOS activities. All future committee openings will be posted on the AAOS home page with a detailed set of expectations and time commitments, as well as the skills and experience needed for the position. The system was launched in May 2002 and is in full operational use for the 2002-2003 committee appointment cycle.
In addition to the innovations having a direct bearing on you, the members, the AAOS in 2005 project team recommended several enhancements to our internal and governance structure, including:
Actions taken to implement these changes include the following:
Assessment of how well the AAOS in 2005 initiative has succeeded in transforming the organization for the early 21st Century is key to the success of similar efforts in the future. Such assessment could be based upon:
The assessment process should begin to take place in 2004 or 2005.
What Lies Beyond 2005 for the AAOS?
One thing is fairly certain. There will be different challenges, opportunities and threats than those in 2002. It will be incumbent on the 2004 leadership to begin to consider what to do to prepare and position the AAOS for the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.
This model used by the leadership in 1999 and 2001, with variations on it to accommodate the future, might be a good template with which to start the initiative of the AAOS in 2010.
Lawrence E. Rosenthal, PhD, is deputy executive vice president and chief operating officer of the AAOS.