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Patient Preparation for Transitions of Surgical Care: Is Failing to Prepare Surgical Patients Preparing Them to Fail?

Martin LA, Finlayson SRG, Brooke BS. Patient Preparation for Transitions of Surgical Care: Is Failing to Prepare Surgical Patients Preparing Them to Fail? World Journal of Surgery. 2017 Jun 1; 41(6):1447-1453.

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BACKGROUND: Transitions of care before and after surgery are critical for patient preparation. We sought to determine whether the degree of exposure to health information resources before and after surgery increases preparedness and decreases hospital readmission. METHODS: A national Web-based, cross-sectional survey was conducted of 1917 patients and caregivers who had a recent surgical encounter. Health information resources used before and after surgery were correlated with patient level of preparedness. We also evaluated the association between preparedness and hospital readmission. RESULTS: Compared to unprepared patients, those who felt prepared were most likely to be given multiple health information resources before surgery (92 vs. 77%, p  <  0.001) and before leaving the hospital (91 vs. 69%, p  =  0.02). Feeling prepared was positively correlated with the number of resources provided to patients by their surgical team and used before surgery and before leaving the hospital (p  <  0.05, both). 30-day readmission was significantly lower among patients who felt prepared either before (7% prepared vs. 22% not prepared, p  =   < 0.001) or after surgery (9% prepared vs. 23% not prepared, p  <  0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with access to more health information resources during transitions before and after surgery feel better prepared and have lower rates of 30-day readmission.

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