Patient perspectives on postoperative visits after common general operative procedures

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, MI. Electronic address: .
Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.38). 09/2013; 154(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.05.005
Source: PubMed


Many postoperative concerns after common general operative procedures may be addressed over the phone, thereby saving time and resources for both the patient and surgeon.
Over a 6-month time period, patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy, appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis, and inguinal or umbilical hernia repair were mailed an anonymous survey. The primary outcome measure was whether or not patients felt their concerns could have been addressed adequately over the phone in place of an office visit.
A total of 1,406 surveys were mailed with 339 responses (24%: 174 laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 83 inguinal hernia, 41 appendectomy, and 41 umbilical hernia). One hundred twelve (33%) felt their concerns could have been addressed adequately over the phone without an office visit. Patients who spent less time with their doctor at the appointment favored telephone follow-up (P < .001). Patients undergoing inguinal hernia were less interested in telephone follow-up compared with laparoscopic cholecystectomy (15% vs 41%; P < .001), appendectomy (15% vs 34%; P = .018), and umbilical hernia (15% vs 37%; P = .010). Of 66 patients (20%) with self-reported complications, 44% sought care from a healthcare provider other than their primary surgeon.
These observations are important for healthcare organizations seeking to maximize surgeon efficiency while improving patient satisfaction.

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Available from: Gerald Paul Wright, Nov 13, 2014