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Archive February 2020 XXI, No. 2

Ideas That Work: Visual Aid

Detailed Guidebook Prepares Patients for Surgery

Physicians Surgery Center
ONE-STOP SHOP A staff member (right) at Physicians Surgery Center explains its Pre-Surgery Instruction Guide, a document covering everything patients need to know about their procedure.

You want patients to show up fully informed and in compliance with pre-surgical instructions. But handing patients a giant folder overflowing with instructions and forms is a proven way to overwhelm folks to the point of inertia. Instead of bombarding patients with multiple forms and documents, look for ways to simplify and streamline. That's how we hit on the idea for our "Pre-Surgery Instruction Guide." It's a 20-page, easy-to-follow booklet — also available in digital form on our website ( — that covers everything patients need to know for their surgery as well as all the forms they'll have to read and sign acknowledgment of once they get to our facility.

The guide (created in-house) is distributed by physicians’ offices during pre-op assessments, and it has greatly improved patients’ compliance with our pre-surgical instructions. Plus, thanks to the inclusion of the forms in the guidebook, we’ve been able to streamline the patient registration process, reducing the number of signatures we need from 12 to just one. We’ve also cut around 20 minutes off the time we spend with patients on the day of surgery going over essential information about their care. That 20 extra minutes per patient has done wonders for our efficiency.

Stephanie Conquest, RN, CAIP
Physicians Surgery Center
Jackson, Tenn.

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