Improving Preoperative Optimization
Optimizing a patient’s medical condition and addressing modifiable risks prior to surgery can improve outcomes and patient satisfaction. Significant gaps, however, persist in preoperative patient management and risk mitigation. In addition, the incidence of comorbidities in the US population (frailty, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) has resulted in more than one-third of all inpatient surgical procedures being performed on patients with conditions known to produce the highest complications, longest hospital stays, and greatest loss of post-surgery independence.
There is a big opportunity via preoperative preparation to reduce costs, increase patient satisfaction, and improve outcomes.
Automated Digital Communication Pathways Can Improve Preparation
Ensuring patients are well prepared ahead of surgery can be time consuming and unmanageable for many organizations. Shared decision making, prehabilitation, and risk reduction are complex. Telephone outreach is inefficient and labor intensive and may allow patients to fall through the cracks and not be accurately assessed and prepared prior to surgery.
With patient engagement technology, your care team can leverage automated outreach and reminders to screen a much larger patient population prior to surgery and increase the amount of time that staff can focus on preoperative condition optimization for high-risk patients. You can deliver prompts, appointment reminders, and collect information to streamline preparation before surgery.
One key tool is a preoperative assessment. It helps you identify comorbidities, assess general health, evaluate functional capacity, and more. Depending on the patient’s responses, you can provide resources and information to help patients avoid complications by improving medical conditions. Patients may need added support to quit smoking or lose weight and a patient engagement tool can automatically provide resources, encouragement, and information to help patients improve their health.
These digital pathways also give your team a clear view of patients who are at higher risk and need more attention. A virtual preoperative assessment also adds convenience for an improved patient experience. Patients can complete it at home at their own pace where they have access to medical information like medications, surgical history, and allergies.
This automated and proactive outreach gives care team the ability to focus their outreach on patients who have not completed their assessment and patients who would benefit from physiologic optimization to address underlying health conditions that might lead to negative surgical outcomes.
Help Patients Stay on Track
Most patients are unfamiliar with the surgical process and the unknown can be scary. Use patient engagement technology to close gaps in care and improve care plan adherence. A digital, bi-directional communication tool can deliver a series of instructions and coaching throughout the entire episode of care to keep patients on track every step of the way. These care pathways provide guidance, education, and comfort to patients, and give the care team confidence that patients are successfully navigating their surgery and recovering safely at home.
Patients who are inadequately prepared ahead of surgery – both physically and emotionally – will have a more difficult recovery and less satisfactory experience. Digital preoperative communication pathways help you reach more patients, increase communication between patients and staff, improve adherence to treatment regimens, which can reduce complications, and increase patient satisfaction with their care team, the procedure, and their health recovery.
Leverage Virtual Pre-Operative Assessments
While surgical outcomes have improved due to perioperative technique and process standardization, significant gaps persist in preoperative preparation and risk mitigation. Learn how to engage patients to optimize outcomes.