June 2002 Bulletin

Board approves committee appointments, EMTALA compendium development protocol for cooperative ventures

The Boards of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons met May 17-18 in Rosemont, Ill. and took the following actions:

AAOS First Vice President James H. Herndon, MD, presented a plan for a new orthopaedic coalition for patient safety

Diversity activities. At the request of AAOS President Vernon T. Tolo, MD, the Diversity Committee reviewed a series of recommendations resulting from the December Board workshop on diversity. The Diversity Committee, in turn, ranked them by priority and made recommendations regarding their implementation. The Board approved establishing a Diversity Oversight Panel for implementation of the Diversity Committee’s recommendations. The panel carries a three-year appointment. The charges of the panel include:

Strategic plan update. The AAOS strategic plan is reviewed and updated each year. Minor changes were made this year to reflect the recommended additional focus on patient safety and professionalism.

The Board approved the 2003 Strategic Plan as submitted with the addition of one new goal: Promote unity within the national orthopaedic community as well as the orthopaedic international community.

Cooperative commercial ventures. The Board approved a protocol, presented by Alan Morris, MD, chair of the Council on Health Policy and Practice, that provides guidance on how the AAOS might enter into cooperative commercial ventures whereby AAOS would acquire and sell qualified practice management products developed by outside vendors and other commercial entities.

Under this new protocol, the Board approved a Council on Health Policy and Practice request that AAOS enter into a cooperative venture with Aristar Inc. for the AAOS to market the company’s OrthoStar software program. That approval is pending investigation of whether the program is compatible with an RRC required software product used by residents. OrthoStar is used on a computer linked with a personal digital assistant. Under the agreement, the AAOS would be the exclusive distributor of the program.

Clinical trials project. Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD, chair of the Clinical Trials Project Team, presented a progress report on this project. Other members of the project team were Joseph Bernstein, MD, Robert Keller, MD, James Weinstein, DO, MS, and Gordon Guyatt, MD, consultant.

He stated that the project team examined various options for AAOS involvement in supporting clinical trials and agreed that is possible to develop trials that would be of benefit to orthopaedics. The Board approved the Project Team’s recommendations in concept to develop a clinical trials business plan and directed the team to work with the Department of Research and Scientific Affairs to develop a plan complete with a proposed budget and measures of success.

EMTALA compendium. The Board approved a funding request from the Patient Access to Emergency Care Project Team to develop a compendium of information on EMTALA issues. The compendium will be made available to the AAOS membership on the Practice Management section of the AAOS Website.

Nursing shortage advisory opinion. The Board of Councilors’ (BOC) American Nursing Shortage Advisory Opinion, which supports legislation and other efforts to address the nursing shortage in the United States, was adopted upon the recommendation of the BOC and referred to the Council on Health Policy and Practice for further study.

Committee appointments and actions. Several committee appointments were approved, including that of Robert D. D’Ambrosia, MD, as the chair of the 2003 Nominating Committee and David A. Wong, MD, as chair of the new Patient Safety Committee. The Board further approved amending the charges to the Nominating Committee to state: "Members may serve every fourth Annual Meeting;" the motion becomes effective for those elected to serve on the Nominating Committee reporting at the 2003 Annual Meeting. The Board also approved a plan presented by First Vice President James Herndon, MD, for development of an Orthopaedic Coalition for Patient Safety. The Patient Safety Committee will provide oversight for the coalition.

Professionalism and ethics. In response to discussions on professionalism held at the Board workshop in December 2002, Dr. Herndon presented a set of principles on this topic that have been adopted by numerous other organizations. They were initially developed by the American College of Physicians– American Society of Internal Medicine Foundation. Upon his recommendation and that of the AAOS Ethics Committee,and after much discussion, the Board adopted as AAOS policy a document entitled "Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter." This document will be posted on the AAOS Website in the near future.

Recommendations by the AAOS Ethics Committee that the titles of two primary AAOS ethics texts be changed to incorporate the concept of professionalism were approved. The revised titles include "Principles of Medical Ethics and Professionalism in Orthopaedic Surgery" and the "Code of Medical Ethics and Professionalism for Orthopaedic Surgeons." The Board also approved another Ethics Committee recommendation that the AAOS guidance documents on ethical matters be renamed "Opinion on Ethics and Professionalism."

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