Archive Patient Centered Care 2015

Make the Pre-Op Process More Pleasant

5 ways to make surgery a hassle-free experience for patients.

Kendal Gapinski

Kendal Gapinski, Contributing Editor


doctor and patient PLEASANT PROCESS Ensure your patients arrive in the OR calm and happy by simplifying the pre-op process.

When's the last time you thought about what patients go through before walking through your doors on the day of surgery? Piles of paperwork, several hours of fasting, intrusive pre-op phone calls and detailed pre-op directives to follow — it's no wonder they arrive stressed and maybe a little scared. "Patients deal with a range of emotions," says Diana Eschhofen, the service excellence manager for the Parkview Physicians Group in Bryan, Ohio. "They don't feel good, they're frightened at what's ahead and what could happen, and they are certainly distracted. We do everything we can to address those stresses from the get-go." So can you, with these pre-op perks that make heading to the OR just a little more pleasant.

1 Pre-admission software
Filling in pre-op paperwork often means playing phone tag with patients or missing important information in a rushed phone call. Pre-admission software can make the process more convenient for patients, allowing them to fill out their own medical histories when they have the time and resources to do so, says Kathleen Mills, intake specialist for Riddle Surgical Center in Media, Pa.

"If I call someone to do it on the phone, they might be in their car or at work, and don't have all of their information available," she says. "This way, they have the time to research their information and they don't miss anything."

Ms. Mills says that Riddle uses online software for their pre-admission paperwork. After scheduling their procedures, patients are given information on how to use the software along with Ms. Mills' phone number and instructions to call if there are any problems. They then log on through the center's website, where the software gives them any previous medical history that's already charted. The patient edits or fills in missing information, and when they arrive on the day of surgery, they are shown the filled-in forms to double check for accuracy. "Patients love it," says Ms. Mills, especially since they can print out copies and take them to future doctors' appointments.

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