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Home E-Weekly June 27, 2017

Study: Docs Choose Phone Calls Over In-Person Consultations with Caregivers

Published: June 26, 2017

QUESTIONABLE CALL Nearly two-thirds of post-surgical conversations with caregivers were handled over the phone.

When the surgery's finished and the patient's in PACU, where and how do your surgeons talk to their patients' caregivers? A recent study suggests that the vast majority fail to take full advantage of what may be the best chance to convey critical information and instructions to those caregivers.

The study, which involved nearly 16,000 such interactions across 19 surgical specialties, found that only 34% were carried out in person. The other roughly two-thirds of post-surgical conversations took place via a phone call, either to the lobby or to a consult room.

The study, which was presented at the 2017 Southeastern Surgical Congress, also found that more than 70% of the face-to-face conversations took place in lobbies or waiting rooms, where caregivers might not have felt as relaxed or free to ask questions. Overall, only about 9% of interactions involved face-to-face discussions in private rooms.

Of the 4,700 outpatient procedures included in the study, 36% were followed by face-to-face meetings with surgeons and caregivers.

Overall percentages were similar across the board, regardless of patients' races, insurance status or admission type (elective or emergent).

Jim Burger

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