News Briefs: Winter 2018

Patient Safety E-Learning Program Available for Purchase

STS is offering an e-learning program on the science and practice of patient safety. “Fundamentals of Patient Safety for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Team” is a series of online modules covering topics such as the epidemiology of error, systems thinking, human factors, the culture of safety, fundamentals of quality improvement, communication, and methods and tools for evaluating safety events. By completing the entire program, learners can earn 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, as well as self-assessment credits toward Part II of the American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification Program. 

Visit sts.org/patientsafetymodules to purchase the program, and contact Education with any questions.


Educational Courses Span All Aspects of CT Surgery

Fall is always a busy time at STS, with planning well under way for the Annual Meeting in January. But the last quarter of 2017 particularly was eventful, with five educational courses taking place October through December.

Things kicked off with the 14th Annual Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular and Thoracic Critical Care Conference, held October 5-7 in Washington, DC. The conference brought together health care teams to explore the complex nature of cardiovascular and thoracic critical care cases, including their unique physiology, array of procedures, and potential complications.

Later that month, data managers and surgeons participating in the STS National Database gathered in Chicago for Advances in Quality and Outcomes: A Data Managers Meeting, October 18-20. Speakers addressed all aspects of data collection, including spec upgrades for the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database and the General Thoracic Surgery Database.

STS also partnered with the American College of Surgeons on CT Surgery in the Future, a hands-on course designed specifically for general surgery residents and medical students held during the ACS Clinical Congress in San Diego on October 23. Participants were able to interact with leading cardiothoracic surgeons and practice specific CT surgery procedures.

On November 16-18, the Coding Workshop in Hollywood, California, provided surgeons, cardiothoracic surgery coders, and other billing professionals with information on new and revised codes for 2018, as well as other changes that will affect reimbursement.

And, on December 1-2 in Chicago, Masters in Structural Heart and Valve Therapy: A Case-Based and Hands-On Symposium highlighted the latest innovations in aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valve therapies for structural heart disease, including traditional, minimally invasive, and catheter-based therapies.

To get the latest information on STS educational courses in 2018, visit sts.org/meetings.


New Guideline on Anticoagulation During Cardiopulmonary Bypass Available Soon

STS, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, and the American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology will soon release a new clinical practice guideline on anticoagulation during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).

Despite more than a half century of “safe” CPB, the evidence base surrounding the conduct of anticoagulation therapy for CPB had not been organized into a succinct guideline, leading to enormous practice variability. The new guideline offers practice recommendations, including heparin dosing and monitoring for initiation and maintenance of CPB, heparin contraindications and heparin alternatives, and reversal of anticoagulation during cardiac operations.

The guideline will be posted on The Annals of Thoracic Surgery website, annalsthoracicsurgery.org, on Friday, January 19, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

It also will be available at sts.org/guidelines and via the STS Clinical Practice Guidelines mobile app.


Scholarships Encourage CT Surgery Careers

The Society’s Looking to the Future Scholarship Program will welcome 60 medical students and general surgery residents to the upcoming STS 54th Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

Initiated in 2006, the program was developed to identify and encourage general surgery residents who are considering, but not yet committed to, a career in cardiothoracic surgery. In 2011, medical students became eligible. Since its inception, the program has awarded 490 scholarships.

Nearly 150 medical students and residents applied for the 2018 scholarship.

“The LTTF applicants seem to be an interesting reflection of the cardiothoracic surgery field,” said Elizabeth A. David, MD, Chair of the Looking to the Future Scholarship Task Force. “The quality of the applicants continues to improve year after year, likely reflecting improvements in the job market and young people being encouraged and inspired to pursue careers in cardiothoracic surgery.”

During the meeting, programs for medical students and residents provide targeted information about cardiothoracic surgery as a profession, life as a cardiothoracic surgeon, and the application processes for training programs. In addition, each scholarship recipient is assigned a surgeon mentor to provide one-on-one insights.

"One of the particular strengths of our program is the ability to identify talented applicants who may not be training at traditional 'powerhouse' programs and provide them with access to mentorship."

Elizabeth A. David, MD

“The scholarship recipients have direct access to leaders and mentors in cardiothoracic surgery throughout the Annual Meeting, and for recipients who do not have access to local mentorship, this is absolutely key,” Dr. David said. “One of the particular strengths of our program is the ability to identify talented applicants who may not be training at traditional ‘powerhouse’ programs and provide them with access to mentorship.”

The recipients aren’t the only ones who benefit from the LTTF program.

“I have been inspired by my own mentees and their enthusiasm for cardiothoracic surgery,” Dr. David said. “The experience of being a mentor is very rewarding, as you get to share the uniqueness and challenges of our specialty and know that you are influencing the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons.”

To view a list of the 2018 scholarship recipients, visit sts.org/lttf. For information regarding the LTTF program, contact Rachel Pebworth, Senior Coordinator, Affiliate Organizations, via email or at 312-202-5835.


STS Leaders Join European and Chinese Colleagues at CSTCVS Meeting

Several STS surgeon leaders, along with their counterparts from the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, attended the Chinese Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery’s Annual Meeting in Hangzhou, China, this past November. One of the Society’s strategic plan goals is to foster collaboration and connection worldwide. Participating in international cardiothoracic surgery meetings is an important part of this initiative.

Members of the STS and EACTS delegations visit the largest children’s hospital in the region. From left: Shuben Li, PhD (First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University), Pala Babu Rajesh, FRCS (EACTS Council), Thomas E. MacGillivray, MD (STS Treasurer), Hon Chi Suen, MD (STS Workforce on International Meetings), Qiang Shu, MD (President, The Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine), Joseph E. Bavaria, MD (STS Immediate Past President), Douglas J. Mathisen, MD (STS Historian and Past President), Peter B. Licht, MD, PhD (EACTS Council), and XiangMing Feng, MD, PhD (Zhejiang University School of Medicine).