Published 8/1/2007

Board adopts new strategic plan

In 2005, the AAOS Board of Directors adopted a strategic plan to help guide decision making in the years 2005-2007. Because part of the ongoing process involves revisiting the strategic plan on a regular basis, this year the Board appointed a project team to revise and update the plan.

Norman Y. Otsuka, MD, chaired the project team that assembled the plan, which was developed by the Board during a series of meetings. At the February Board meeting, the Board prioritized the goals, which build upon the 2005-2007 Strategic Plan, and the AAOS mission of “serving the profession, championing the interests of patients, and advancing the highest quality musculoskeletal health.” During its May 2007 meeting, the Board adopted the new plan, which is reprinted here and which will be used during the next 3- to 5-year period.

New Governance Structure
To advance its mission, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) will have a sharply focused governance structure that will identify and respond to the evolving needs of current and prospective members, other health care providers, and patients.

To achieve this goal:

  • The Councils on Advocacy, Education, and Research, Quality Assessment, and Technology, and the Communications Cabinet will support the Academy/Association Board of Directors (BOD), Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), and Board of Councilors (BOC).
  • Recruitment and recognition of the volunteers and development of a volunteer mentality.
  • Expose residents and new members to relevant activities.
  • Continue to reassess, revisit, and revitalize orthopaedic unity.
  • Create new opportunities at the regional and state levels, for example, State Advocate Champion Program and Advocacy Mentoring Program.
  • The Finance Committee and the BOD will manage the finances of the Academy and Association to maintain fiscal health and support the mission and goals of the organizations.

“Together we are one.” It is crucial for the AAOS to continue the theme of orthopaedic unity with its new governance structure. The AAOS will work toward orthopaedic unity by developing and optimizing relationships with the specialty societies and state associations. The future of the AAOS is reliant on the recruitment of members to its volunteer system. Both experienced and new, young members give beneficial perspectives to the AAOS. The new structure, both volunteer and staff, will allow the AAOS to be more nimble and allow more volunteers to participate in AAOS activities.

To advance its mission, AAOS will enhance advocacy efforts in the Federal and State legislative and regulatory arenas.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

  • Identify and train spokespersons with specific and comprehensive expertise on major health policy matters and identify and cultivate orthopaedic surgeons who have personal relationships with all of the members of key congressional committees with jurisdiction over issues of concern to the AAOS.
  • Develop coalitions and search for other organizations, including patient groups, which may be sympathetic to AAOS position.
  • Integrate and coordinate the BOC, BOS, state orthopaedic societies, and the Political Action Committee (PAC) advocacy initiatives into AAOS activities.
  • Expand initiatives with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Orthopaedic Leadership Council, and Research Capital Hill Days.
  • Design a long-term program, the “Advocacy Professional Career Path,” to identify and develop AAOS fellows who have a passion and talent for advocacy.

A major challenge for the AAOS is to change the culture of our members to become active supporters of advocacy, both financially and through committed work.

The advocacy goals of the AAOS will be dependent on the identification of AAOS spokespersons. Participation of the membership, such as in the PAC, will determine the successful attainment of the advocacy goals.

The initiatives of the Advocacy Council will proactively address medical liability reform and CMS issues. The evolving Unified Advocacy Agenda will provide focus and direction to our advocacy involvement.

To advance its mission, AAOS will continuously re-evaluate and manage the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program and the publishing program, develop and implement a comprehensive plan for patient education, and develop the concept of educational effectiveness and implement proven strategies.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

  • Trial and implement cost effective new strategies for needs assessment, program and product evaluation, and new methods of providing CME.
  • Evaluate methods of self-directed life-long learning to determine the most effective method for providing information, which is retained by the participant and will ultimately lead to improvements in patient care.
  • Develop methods of educating members in professionalism, ethics, and evidenced-based medicine.
  • Develop new target audiences for our educational products with a special emphasis on patient education.
  • Develop a strategy to improve and expand the practice management curriculum.

The future of education will see an increased use of the electronic media. It is important for the AAOS to continue to evaluate and monitor these methods of educating its members. New technologies will be an important part of the AAOS educational programs. The CME programs will be developed in conjunction with the needs of our members for maintenance of certification.

Our CME efforts must compete effectively in the CME market against industry and other academic institutions. The development of local and regional CME efforts by the AAOS will be of value to our members who are pressed for time and finances.

The Education Council can be a vital link between the AAOS unity initiative and the specialty societies. With the consolidation of CME activities, the AAOS can co-brand and promote a limited number of good subspecialty courses in conjunction with the specialty societies for our members.

Research, Quality Assessment, and Technology
To enhance its mission, AAOS will promote the most ethically and scientifically sound basic, clinical, and translational research possible to ensure the future care for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and serve as the primary resource to educate its members, the public and public policy makers regarding evidenced-based medical practice, orthopaedic devices and biologics regulatory pathways and standards development, patient safety, occupational health, technology assessment, and other related areas of importance.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

  • Increase and expand involvement with National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes and other funding agencies to increase research funding, increase the recognition of the importance of research and increase the number of orthopaedic surgeons who are appointed to NIH Advisory Councils and sit on study sections.
  • Develop several evidence-based pay for performance measures, gleaned from evidence-based practice guidelines.
  • Participate with CMS and other payers in development of an American Joint Replacement Registry.
  • Promote, within the AAOS, a move toward all position and advisory statements being evidence-based, with “information statements” where formal evidence review is not feasible.
  • In coordination with the BOC, BOS, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and Orthopaedic Research Society, develop technology assessments and technology overviews with patient safety and quality as a priority.

As part of its goals, the AAOS will continue to engage in special projects: Orthopaedic Device Forum; Burden of Musculoskeletal Disease in the United States; War Casualty Research; Unified Research Agenda; Technology Assessment.

The AAOS is one of few medical organizations attempting to address the difficult issue of new technology assessments. New technology assessment is a benefit to our members, as well as, our patients, and the public.

In the environment of value-based purchasing, which is being promulgated by CMS and private payers, it is essential the AAOS be involved in the production of practice guidelines and performance measures. In addition, health services research will become more important as we demonstrate the worth of our specialty to the public and policy makers.

To advance its mission, AAOS will be positioned as the leading resource of information for its members, other health care professionals, patients, and the general public on musculoskeletal issues, conditions, and treatments.

To achieve this goal, AAOS will:

  • Accurately identify issues and initiatives that are important to our members, patients, and public; and disseminate this information through print and electronic vehicles to each group in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Work in conjunction with the specialty societies and other groups to promote to our patients and to the public through print and electronic vehicles the credibility of orthopaedic surgeons as the primary source of quality musculoskeletal care and to promote the AAOS as the most reliable and accurate source of musculoskeletal information.
  • Enlist members representing the AAOS programmatic councils and other groups within the AAOS to identify pertinent issues, initiatives, and programs; these volunteers will serve as liaisons to the Communications Cabinet and
  • will work with the Public Relations Oversight Group and the Member Communications Oversight Group to appropriately evaluate and disseminate this information.
  • Further develop AAOS Now and consolidate and customize our communication efforts.
  • Establish measures of success for member communications and public relations initiatives, and periodically evaluate all communications vehicles for relevancy, timeliness, consistency, efficiency, and usefulness.

The Communication goals will remain an integral part of the following efforts: electronic communications; research; advocacy; diversity; information exclusive to AAOS; targeted communication; evaluation of emerging technologies; product promotion; help desk; e-mail addresses; patient education. Effective communication with our members, the public, our patients, and policy makers is paramount for the continued success of our education and advocacy efforts.

Member needs set agenda for future
By Richard F. Kyle, MD

In June 2005, under the leadership of Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, the AAOS Board of Directors finalized new mission and vision statements. Six months later, a new governance structure—designed to make the Academy a more responsive, more flexible organization—was implemented, and a strategic plan was adopted for the years 2005-2007.

As the Board recognized, the mission and vision are long-term goals. Strategic plans, on the other hand, are shaped by both internal and external forces and must be revisited on a regular basis. The AAOS, as a responsive member organization, relies heavily on member feedback to help shape its plans and programs.

This dedication to serving the members is reflected in our ongoing strategic planning process, which involves both needs assessment and planning/prioritization. This year, under the leadership of First Vice-President E. Anthony Rankin, MD, the Academy conducted a second member needs assessment survey to determine and address the issues that are most important to the fellowship. In addition, guided by Board member Norman Y. Otsuka, MD, the Board identified and prioritized member needs, based on previous member needs assessments.

During the past year, Board members spent numerous hours assessing member needs and ensuring that issues identified by members are addressed in the work effort. The result of this deliberative planning process is the accompanying action plan for 2007-2010. As you will see, the plan includes specific action items that the AAOS will be implementing over the next few years. These action items reflect the issues that you, as members, have identified. The Board will regularly review and modify action items and reprioritize them in response to your changing needs as identified by ongoing feedback and survey results.

As our primary member communications vehicle, AAOS Now is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on board actions and deliberations. Your leadership is committed to keeping members informed and relies on your feedback to ensure that we are appropriately addressing those issues of most importance to you.

I encourage you to read this plan carefully, and to measure it against your expectations for the future. I think you will see that, in every arena—Governance; Education; Advocacy; Research, Quality Assessment, and Technology; and Communications—your Academy is poised to realize its vision as “the authoritative source of knowledge and leadership in musculoskeletal health.”