Pre-surgery education is important to patient outcomes

Missouri health care providers may find that good education prior to surgery can improve their patients' outcomes. Research by Gallup has indicated that although patients are typically committed to following instructions given for their post-surgery activity and care, other important areas affecting outcomes are not addressed as thoroughly as they should be. Less than half of those patients who responded strongly agreed that they were prepared for the time following their surgeries.

Patients' lack of knowing what to expect after surgery and being unprepared for the experience could be addressed through more thorough education on the parts of various segments of the health care industry. For example, physicians may improve patient outcomes by providing a clear overview of post-surgery expectations in advance. Those who manufacture devices to be implanted during surgical procedures may also facilitate more positive outcomes by ensuring that their educational materials are current and accurate.

Because a positive patient outcome can result in better consequences not only for a patient but also for relatives and the community, a more precise protocol for communicating about the various stages and expectations related to surgery can make a huge difference on a local and national level. Similar protocols have been influential in reducing issues such as surgical errors, demonstrating that a structured approach to patient concerns and needs can make a dramatic difference for the health care system.

A patient who has not been well-informed of post-surgery expectations might worry about whether slow progress in the recovery period is reasonable or not. A lack of awareness could lead to ignoring serious symptoms that might warrant physician attention. A patient who suffers a serious medical episode because of poor education or inadequate discharge instructions might want to speak with an attorney about whether medical malpractice has occurred.

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