American College of Surgeons

American College of Surgeons

A step-change in member and patient experience

Serving 84,000 members, the American College of Surgeons is the leading professional association for surgeons in the US, and home to more than one hundred chapters across the world.

Its mission is to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients by helping surgeons to advance their careers and elevate their profession and helping patients to be better prepared for surgery.

Unfortunately the ACS digital ecosystem was reliant on fragmented legacy IT systems and poor user interfaces that failed to provide a complete view of its value.

View live site

Human insight to accelerate change

Hugo & Cat partnered with ACS to transform its website experience, technology platforms and digital operations and deliver highly personalized journeys for members, medical professionals and patients.

Over 9 months, we gained quantitative and qualitative audience-insights, and designed and implemented a new website that is optimized for task completion. Offering advanced search and personalization, the platform now brings the most relevant features and content to every audience, every time. 

The new ACS website homepage
The new ACS website as it appears on a mobile browser.

A strong digital core

By consolidating existing systems, we moved ACS away from multiple content management tools, hosting providers and analytics platforms to a single unified ecosystem with centralized intelligence.

Built using a composable digital experience platform (Umbraco DXP) and based on a modular pattern library and design system, the integrated solution takes many previously manual and time consuming processes and automates them to improve efficiency. It offers ACS enhanced flexibility and control so that teams can get new content and experience improvements to audiences in less time and with less hassle.

A robust data layer and tracking system provides an always-on view of performance and engagement ROI, fueling a program of ongoing optimization across content and journeys.

Illustration of Doctor profile pages as seen on the new ACS website


Launched in 2022, the new integrated ecosystem has delivered immediate value to ACS, its members, medical professionals and patients.

With personalized journeys, seamless experience transition across web, mobile and email, faster performance and productivity, and a more ownable and differentiated brand experience, the program has delivered some stand-out metrics.

  • Member engagement has increased by 78% 
  • Membership applications have grown by 40%.
  • Average user session duration +42%

The program has also been a catalyst for change in digital operations within ACS, with adoption of Agile delivery practices enabling ongoing rapid testing, iteration and performance improvements.

Member engagement
Membership application
Average user session duration
Illustration of the new brand design for the ACS website

What’s next?

As audience needs evolve, the foundations that support their journeys will need to scale and grow. Designed with the organization’s long-term ambitions in mind, the re-architected cloud, data and interoperability infrastructure means that ACS is perfectly poised to take advantage of the opportunities to come.

Building on the success of the partnership to date, ACS is working with Hugo & Cat to use data insights to further develop its digital ecosystem, including the design and development of new digital products for the College – most recently, a Trauma Education app that will support surgeons and Emergency Room nurses to deliver the best care possible as they operate in the most critical of environments.

Illustrations displaying pages from the new ACS website on desktop and mobile browsers
Example medical articles and journals as shown on the new ACS website
Hugo & Cat has been a great partner to our team at the ACS. We appreciated their expertise to help us deliver a new digital experience that's more streamlined and has allowed us to better service and engage with our audiences.
Michi Gupta, Global Digital Strategy Lead, ACS
More work

You may also like