Implementing a 5-Star Patient Education Process to Drive Retention

Part 1: The Coordinated Pre-Op Visit

love-nurseImplementing a patient-centric, high touch pre-op visit can result in a 53% increase in patient satisfaction and a 37% increase in patient’s likelihood to return.

For plastic surgery patients, nursing plays an integral role in the delivery of care and has a direct link to patient satisfaction, which is the ultimate measurement of a successful outcome. Effective communication protocols improve outcomes and expedite the recuperation process.

Implementing a thoughtful and consistent patient friendly peri-operative education component and communication process increases satisfaction and dramatically decreases post-op calls. This plan consists of a coordinated pre-op visit, personalized pre-op materials and a proactive post-operative communication strategy.

More often than not, patients are confused about the surgery process, their specific procedure and have important questions to resolve. Nurses must display empathy and patience regarding their mental state.

To further complicate matters, the human brain forgets 90% of what is learned within 1 week. When we consider that patients will only remember about 10% of the information provided to them, it is clear that the pre-op visit must be a carefully planned process and include effective supporting

The best practice standard is to schedule a 1-hour pre-operative visit 2 weeks prior to surgery.

1. Prepare: Send the patient the personalized education materials in advance with a note encouraging them to review prior to their appointment and place sticky notes on any sections that are unclear.

2. Educate: At the visit, the nurse should review the relevant informed consent materials, and pre and post-op preparation instructions.  In this teaching role, the nurse educates and prepares the patient for the pending surgery process which sets the stage for a successful post-op recuperation and healing process.

3. Review: Next, the patient should be given the opportunity to address all of the items that they have flagged for review.

4. Confirm: As a last step, the nurse should inquire with the patient, “Did this visit cover all of the information that you anticipate needing as you prepare for and recover from surgery? Are there any remaining additional questions or concerns?” The nursing staff must confirm they have met the patient’s needs before they conclude the pre-operative

With proper pre-planning, the visit will be much smoother and meet the patient’s need for information.

This article is part one of a three part series based on a poster presentation delivered at the American Society of Plastic Surgery Nurses (ASPRN) Meeting in Boston, on October 18, 2015.


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