Patients are often times anxious during a visit to their orthopedic surgeon, especially when being advised that surgery is indicated for the treatment of their problem.
Informed consent discussions about surgical interventions often require an in-depth conversation concerning complicated material at a time when a patient may not be able to fully focus and comprehend it.
Patients have a voracious appetite for information, especially when it pertains to surgical procedures for which they have been indicated. The Internet is the leading resource for patients seeking this information, but frequently, random searches can lead to outdated or unreliable sites that may actually mislead or misinform patients.
Doctor’s office visits can often feel time-limited or rushed, and patients are frequently left with unanswered questions. They may think of questions at a later time after they are able to digest the information provided during the office visit.
In studies, internet-based learning has been shown to lead to the highest retention rates with respect to obtaining informed consent for surgery. Video and slide presentations seem to be the preferred methodology for patients seeking this information on-line.
Internet-based surgery-specific learning modules can allow a patient, friend, or family member to review the diagnosis, indications for surgery, risks and benefits of the procedure, alternative options available, animated surgical videos, and post-operative expectations in a quiet learning environment at their own pace. It will also allow for repetition over time, which will increase retention rates prior to proceeding with surgery.
Well-educated patients are often happier patients, have more reasonable expectations, and better results. Thus… the birth of “Surgication.”