The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Geriatrics-for-Specialists Initiative, with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, on January 4 released Optimal Perioperative Management of the Geriatric Patient: A Best Practices Guideline. The consensus-based national guideline addresses perioperative care for patients ages 65 and older as defined by Medicare regulations. This population continues to grow, with more than 40 million older adults now living in the U.S., a number that is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050.
The new guideline has been published on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) website and will run later this year in the print version of JACS and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In addition, the ACS and AGS posted a freestanding volume of this perioperative guideline at facs.org/quality-programs/acs-nsqip/geriatric-periop-guideline.
A framework for excellence
The guideline provides a framework for addressing the complex issues facing patients of advanced age, who are more likely to experience postoperative complications and prolonged recovery. The ACS/AGS Geriatric Surgery Task Force developed the guideline with an expert multidisciplinary panel, which evaluated current evidence and best practices in the medical literature to produce expert recommendations for surgeons, anesthesiologists, and allied health care professionals who work with older adults. This consensus-based guideline is “not a substitute for clinical judgment and experience,” the authors explain, but it can support tailored, comprehensive geriatric evaluations.
“It’s inspiring to see our collaboration achieve this next milestone. This new interdisciplinary guideline provides us with another meaningful tool for improving geriatric surgical care. We now have expert recommendations in place for older patients that range from preoperative assessment to perioperative management,” said guideline co-author Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, Director of ACS NSQIP, and Principal Investigator of the Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery (CQGS) Project.