Acute Care Committee

Chair:

Dr. Sandy Widder, sandy.widder2@albertahealthservices.ca

Members:

  • Dr. N. Ahmed, Toronto
  • Dr. C. Ball, Calgary
  • Dr. D. Davey, Edmonton
  • Dr. J. Drover, Kingston
  • Dr. L. Farries, Red Deer
  • Dr. M. Hameed, Vancouver
  • Dr. K. Khwaja, Montreal
  • Dr. S. Minor, Halifax
  • Dr. J. Pagliarello, Otttawa
  • Dr. N. Parry, London
  • Dr. J. Rao, Regina
  • Dr. T. Razek, Montreal
  • Dr. H. Tien, Toronto
  • Dr. B. Zabolotny, Winnipeg

Overview:

Over the past five years, there has been a groundswell movement in Canada towards the development of organized, focused and multidisciplinary approaches to caring for acutely ill general surgical patients. Newly forged Acute Care Surgery (ACS) services are beginning to provide prompt evidence based and goal directed care to acutely ill general surgical patients who often present with a diverse range of complex pathologies and little or no pre or postoperative planning. Through a team-based structure with attention to processes of care and information sharing, ACS services are well positioned to improve outcomes, while finding and developing efficiencies and reducing costs of surgical and emergency health care delivery. The ACS model also offers enhanced opportunities for surgical education for students, residents, and practicing surgeons, and will provide avenues to strengthen clinical and academic bonds between community and academic surgical centers. In the near future, cooperation of ACS services from community and academic hospitals across the country will lead to the formation of systems of acute surgical care whose development will be informed by rigorous data collection and research, and evidence based quality improvement initiatives. In an era of increasing sub specialization, ACS is a strong unifying force in general surgery and a platform for collective advocacy for an important patient population.

ACUTE CARE SURGERY IN CANADA

map of canada

In the past decade, clinical service teams dedicated to their care have flourished across the country, quadrupling their number in the last 3 years alone. As of 2009, there are at least 13 acute general surgical services in Canada with many more services at academic and community hospitals in planning stages. These services have brought focused attention to a sometimes ignored and fragmented patient population and have opened up exciting opportunities to address some of the most pressing issues in health care today, including access to acute care, evidence-based practice, quality improvement and patient safety, comparative effectiveness, and surgical education.