AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 1, 2020


On Your Side! Organized Neurosurgery Weighs in for Patients and Neurosurgeons

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Neurosurgeons have a long tradition, dating back to Cushing and Dandy, of commitment to quality patient outcomes and so have been ahead of the curve in many areas:

Thus, it should come as no surprise that organized neurosurgery was proactive in addressing the media fervor surrounding the issue of concurrent and overlapping surgery. While the American College of Surgeons (ACS) issued a cogent statement on the topic, there remained concerns as expressed in the report of the Senate Finance Committee issued in December 2016 through then Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Always working on behalf of all practicing neurosurgeons, The Washington Committee crafted the position statement titled “Intraoperative Responsibility of the Primary Neurosurgeon” highlighted these key points:

  • Notes that the primary neurosurgeon is personally responsible for patient welfare throughout an operation
  • Provides clear and concise definitions of concurrent, overlapping and multidisciplinary operations
  • Supports delegation of part of a procedure to qualified practitioners under the supervision of the primary surgeon
  • Defines the need for procedure-related tasks, such as review of pathology
  • Clarifies the importance of neurosurgeon-patient communication specifically as it relates to qualified medical providers involvement in a given surgical or procedural intervention

All neurosurgeons are encouraged to read the position statement in its entirety. Organized neurosurgery, including the AANS, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS) and the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) continue to advocate for neurosurgery, our patients and quality outcomes.


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