Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

For sick, elderly patients, surgical decision making 'takes a village'

Date:
April 10, 2014
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Surgery for sick, elderly patients can be very risky. Decision making surrounding a possible surgical procedure should be orchestrated by a multidisciplinary team, including the patient, his or her family, the surgeon, primary care physician, nurses and non-clinicians, such as social workers, advocates say.

Surgical decision making for sick, elderly patients should be orchestrated by a multidisciplinary team, including the patient, his or her family, the surgeon, primary care physician, nurses and non-clinicians, such as social workers, advocates Laurent G. Glance, M.D., in a perspective piece published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For this group of patients, surgery can be very risky. Glance, professor and vice-chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry believes a more patient-centered, team-based treatment approach would lead to higher quality care that matches the values and preferences of the sickest patients.

Usually, patients undergo a one-on-one consultation with their surgeon, who is frequently solely responsible for most of the decision making and management surrounding a possible surgical procedure. However, this traditional approach has potential pitfalls. For example, patients may not always be presented the full range of treatment options, such as medical treatment, less invasive surgical options, or watchful waiting.

"Evaluating treatment options, formulating recommendations and articulating the benefits and risks to patients comprehensively require more than a well-informed or experienced surgeon," noted Glance, who is also a professor of Public Health Sciences and a cardiac anesthesiologist at UR Medicine's Strong Memorial Hospital, in addition to holding an adjunct appointment at RAND Health.

Consultation with a team of medical personnel, on the other hand, helps patients better understand the benefits and risks of each option, the likelihood of a good outcome and the risks of complications, enabling them to make informed decisions that are driven by what's most important to them and their family.

According to the article, one-third of elderly Americans have surgery in the last 12 months of their lives, most within the last month. But, three-quarters of seriously ill patients say they would not choose surgery if they knew they are likely to have severe cognitive or functional complications afterward.

Currently, such teamwork occurs mostly on an ad hoc basis, says Glance. In the future, multidisciplinary teams could meet regularly -- in person or virtually -- to discuss high-risk cases. By limiting the focus of such efforts to frail, elderly patients or to those with complex conditions who stand to benefit most from this multidisciplinary approach, healthcare organizations could minimize the costs involved. However, Glance acknowledges that gaining acceptance of this shift in the current culture of surgical decision making may not be straightforward.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laurent G. Glance, Turner M. Osler, Mark D. Neuman. Redesigning Surgical Decision Making for High-Risk Patients. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 370 (15): 1379 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1315538

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "For sick, elderly patients, surgical decision making 'takes a village'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410153628.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2014, April 10). For sick, elderly patients, surgical decision making 'takes a village'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410153628.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "For sick, elderly patients, surgical decision making 'takes a village'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410153628.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins