Give Surgical Patients a Head Start in Recovery
Washington state quality improvement effort promotes pre-pre-op care.
Published: January 21, 2013
"Strong for Surgery," a public health campaign initiated by the University of Washington, has issued a trove of checklists and educational materials that provide a set of standards for improving pre-operative care.
The standards aim to assist Washington state providers and patients in recognizing modifiable risks — namely poor nutrition, cigarette smoking, drug interaction hazards and diabetes — and intervening to improve infection prevention, respiratory care, medication safety, glycemic control, wound healing and other aspects of recovery.
"Putting the checklist in every doctor's office across the state takes the focus of surgical safety beyond the operating room," says "Strong for Surgery" medical director Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, FACS, an associate professor in the University of Washington's department of surgery and director of thoracic surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. "Surgical preparedness now becomes part of the basic conversation about planning for surgery and the patient shares in that process. It empowers patients."
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