June 2002 Bulletin

In the News

Patient Safety Committee chair, members appointed

David A. Wong, MD, MSc, FRCS, has been named chair of the new Patient Safety Committee. An Active Fellow of the Academy since 1988, Dr. Wong presently chairs the AAOS Guidelines Committee and also serves as a member of the AAOS Medical Errors Oversight Panel. He is also active in the North American Spine Society, where he is presently the Second Vice President, Chair of the Medical Errors Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Guidelines Committee. An assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, Dr. Wong also is a former team surgeon for the U.S. Ski Team,

Appointed to serve as committee members were Robert Brooks, MD, Dale Butler, MD, Howard Epps, MD, Steven Fountain, MD, Michael Goldberg, MD, and John Wickenden, MD. A representative of the Council on Academic Affairs will be appointed to the committee at a later date. The mission of the Patient Safety Committee is to promote orthopaedic patient safety and to reduce the potential of medical errors that could occur in orthopaedic practice.

New patient page in Bulletin

A new ongoing Bulletin feature–Patient Information from Your Orthopaedic Connection–is being introduced in this issue. This special ready-to-use patient education piece is formatted so that it can be easily photocopied and provided directly to patients. Topics and content are drawn from the AAOS patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection. The first Patient Information feature appears on page 59 and focuses on meniscal tears.

CSMP now online

The Communications Skills Mentoring Program (CSMP) now has its own homepage on the AAOS Web site. The CSMP homepage features practical tips for improving orthopaedic surgeons’ skills in clinician-patient communication and information about a series of educational workshops developed by the AAOS in partnership with the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication, a non-profit foundation supported by the Pharmaceutical Division of the Bayer Corporation. The CSMP homepage includes such features as:

Communication skills are important in the patient/physician relationship for both understanding and trust. Benefits of better communication include improved patient and physician satisfaction, adherence to treatments, outcomes, and reduced professional liability.

Leadership "Fly-in" Day on Capitol Hill

On May 22, the leadership of the Alliance of Medical Specialties, including William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, Executive Vice President of AAOS, participated in high-level meetings with Congressional leadership. The event took place in the U.S. Capitol and also included representatives from the American Academy of Dermatology, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Radiology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, American Society for Clinical Pathology and Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

During the all-day meeting, the group met several key members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate including Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.); Sen. Bill Frist, MD (R-Tenn.); Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), Ranking Minority Member of the Subcommittee; Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Rep. Tom Delay (R-Texas), House Republican Majority Whip; and Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), Senate Republican Minority Whip. Issues discussed during this meeting included changes to the regulations regarding emergency on-call issues and the exponential increase in liability premiums. The highest priority for the physician community continues to be permanently fixing the Medicare payment formula.

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