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The Right Treatment. The Right Time

aCATS is a Surgery Strategic Clinical Network (SSCN) sponsored project aimed at helping surgeons deliver exceptional surgical care in a safe and timely manner.

As part of the SSCN’s Surgical Access vision, we want to help physicians deliver the right treatment at the right time, from the time a referral is made to the time a patient is discharged. aCATS is the first step in providing baseline data from the ready to treat date to the surgery date.

About aCATS

aCATS is a standardized diagnosis-based system to help prioritize surgeries offered throughout the province.

Over the next 24 months, we will be focusing on data quality, including accuracy, validity, timeliness and consistency. We will also focus on engagement with our primary stakeholders: surgeons, medical office assistants (MOAs) and secretaries.

Our full project plan is coming soon.

    aCATS Code Book

    The third review of the Adult Coding Access Targets for Surgery (aCATS) codes is now complete and the aCATS Code Book is available for use.

    The aCATS book is arranged alphabetically by service and within each service the codes are organized by categories. These categories are prioritized by cancer, cancer suspected, benign codes, then by suggested wait time.

    Codes used by multiple services have been brought over into that service’s list; for example you will now see some Plastic Surgery codes in General Surgery. These codes are identified in the Service column.

    If you do not see a code that appropriately corresponds with your patient’s diagnosis, you may refer to other service code lists. If an appropriate code is not found, please choose another code based on the ‘suggested wait time’.

    Please feel free to contact your aCATS Site Lead with any questions or concerns.

    Provincial Spread Plan

    Currently, aCATS has rolled out to 19 of 57 surgical sites and most Non-Hospital Surgical Facilities (NHSF) across the province. While we are gearing up and training additional sites to roll out the project, there are many challenges and limitations we face.

    Facilities are designated out of scope for two reasons:

    1. They do not have an Operating Room Information System (ORIS) that supports aCATS implementation.
    2. All surgery completed at the site is not coded by aCATS (e.g. emergency or scopes).

    Within Covenant Health aCATS is being used at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital and the Misericordia Community Hospital.
    Bonneyville Healthcare Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, and Banff Mineral Springs Hospital are designated as out of scope at this time.

    Please refer to the aCATS Spread Plan for a summary of the project's sustain and spread.

    Training and Resources

    Equip yourself with everything necessary to use aCATS to ensure your practice delivers the best possible patient-centred care.

    Your aCATS team is here to help you help your patients.

    There are many ways to get educated:

    • Enrol in aCATS University and earn your Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate in aCATS. Coming June 2015.
    • Download your aCATS toolkit, which provides you with all the resources necessary to ensure that aCATS is a success at your site. Coming June 2015.
    • Get the 411 on Ready to Treat and Decision to Treat.
    • Learn about standard booking processes, designed to make using aCATS much easier. Coming June 2015.

    We strive to provide our stakeholders with the highest quality product. If you require additional training or resources, please let us know.


    Questions/Contact Information

    Charlene Moore RN BScN
    Surgery Access and Intake Manager
    Grey Nuns Community Hospital

    Michelle Busse RN
    Surgery Access and Intake Manager
    Misericordia Community Hospital