Satisfaction expressed by day-surgery patients can be enhanced by improving the quality of information they receive, and also help assure successful post-operative recovery without the need for outpatient follow-up, according to research reported in the Journal of Healthcare Quality, the peer reviewed publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).
In a retrospective comparative study of patients undergoing hemorrhoidectomy procedures, satisfaction levels for an initial group of 60 patients were measured, and a second group undergoing the same operation was surveyed after being offered improved patient information, such as normal recovery time, suggestions for optimal pain management, and what to do if normal bleeding occurs. Comparisons between the groups were determined to assess whether good patient information could enhance satisfaction after recovery and reduce the incidence of post-operative medical attention sought.
Results showed that the average satisfaction score (scale 1-5) in the group receiving better information was 4.2 vs. 2.95 in the original group. Further, only three patients from the well-informed group sought post-operative medical attention vs. 34 from the original group. Although hemorrhoidectomy is a short procedure, it causes prolonged post-operative pain with mild bleeding and requires regular analgesia, laxatives and antibiotics. If patients are not well informed about their recovery, the symptoms can foster anxiety and the need for medical attention to provide reassurances.
"These findings demonstrate that good preoperative communication with patients can alter behavior upon discharge, improve success in managing procedures in a day-case setting, and possibly improve cost-effectiveness, " said co-author Gisella Salerno, MD, FRCS, colorectal specialists registrar, Ashford and St. Peter's NHS Foundation Trust (UK).
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