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ABS to Explore Video-Based Assessment in Pilot Program Launching June 2021

April 8, 2021 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists, announced today that it is launching a pilot program in video-based assessment (VBA).

"The ABS is very pleased to announce this pilot," said ABS Chair Dr. John D. Mellinger. "VBA has been increasingly attested in our literature as a potentially scalable way to assess surgical technical skill and its correlation with patient outcomes."

ABS plans to recruit at least 150 of its certified surgeons, known as diplomates, to participate in the pilot for each of three video platforms. Surgeons will upload videos of their own operations from a predefined list of procedures, and will also be asked to review videos of their peers. Videos will be de-identified for surgeon and patient anonymity. Pilot participants will receive quantitative and qualitative feedback on their operations. ABS will have access to identified information only with respect to who completed uploads and reviews.

Participants will provide feedback on their experience with the platform and overall experience with VBA to ABS. ABS will have access to only de-identified information on ratings, engagement, performance data and other key performance indicators as defined by both parties prior to the pilot.

"The ABS is committed to continuously enhancing the value of certification to both the public and the profession," said ABS CEO and President Dr. Jo Buyske. "Having surgeons use standardized processes to review other surgeons doing procedures could have a significant impact on quality improvement and therefore patient safety."

The pilot program will begin in June 2021 and conclude in December 2021. This pilot will allow ABS to investigate the use of VBA as a component of the Continuous Certification Program, and will allow the organization to assess the feasibility of full implementation in the future.

"The pilot will allow us to begin to explore the feasibility of VBA as a vehicle for formative skill assessment and improvement for the practicing surgeon," added Mellinger. "Other potential downstream outcomes include establishing a foundation for coaching and aspiration to mastery strategies as a component of professional culture."

ABS will partner with Caresyntax, C-SATS, and Surgical Safety Technologies to provide the video hosting platforms and peer review process for this pilot. All three platforms have the ability to capture operating room activity, some in real time, and then analyze these large volumes of video, images, operational data and more. This process gives users the ability to manage, review, and improve their skills from the formative feedback from their peers.


About the ABS

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities. The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties


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