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Pre-surgery education improves surgical outcomes

Surgical procedures can be stressful for the patient, and clear communication could be one key for reducing stress for Pennsylvania patients heading into surgery. Pre-surgery education has been shown to greatly improve patient outcomes when it covers a variety of topics, including the importance of adhering to post-surgery protocol.

One study highlights the fact that pre-surgery education is often lacking in hospitals. The study polled patients regarding their satisfaction with how doctors and other health care professionals prepared them prior to surgery in three areas, that consisted of knowing what to expect after surgery, feeling prepared for their post-surgery experience, and their following of post-surgery instructions. The study found that 17 percent of those polled did not feel that they had received adequate preparation in any of those areas, and only 37 percent believed that they had been instructed in all of them.

Additionally, among those polled, 78 percent strongly agreed that they followed post-surgery instructions. According to the study, this suggests that the key to improving post-surgery outcomes lies in the improvement of the quality of communication with the patient regarding surgical procedures.

In some cases, a patient who has not been adequately educated both as to what to expect during a surgical procedure as well as what should be done afterwards has his or her condition worsened. The failure to provide such information could in some cases be deemed medical negligence, especially if proper teaching could have avoided such a result. A patient who is in this situation will often have to incur significant additional medical expenses and suffer further adverse financial consequences due to an inability to return to work for a prolonged period. A medical malpractice attorney can assist in determining the remedies that may be available.

Source: Gallup, "For Patients, Pre-Surgery Education Is Lacking", Mike Ellrich and Daniela Yu, may 21, 2015

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