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Study shows pre-surgery education affects outcome

Patients undergoing surgery in New York hospitals may have better outcomes if they are given pre-surgery education, according to a Gallup analysis. After surveying thousands of patients who had undergone medical device implantations, Gallup researchers found that the patients who were educated about what to expect after surgery were more likely to experience positive outcomes.

Researchers asked patients to report whether or not they knew what to expect after surgery, felt prepared for their post-surgery experience and followed post-surgery instructions. The patients were told to rate these three areas from one to five. Patients who gave a rating of five to at least one of the areas had fewer post-surgery problems and were more satisfied with the outcomes of their procedures. Patients who gave a five rating to more than one area had even greater satisfaction with the results.

Doctors may need to put more effort into pre-surgery education, according to researchers. The Gallup analysis showed that only 37 percent of patients strongly agreed that they knew what to expect before their surgery, felt prepared for the surgery and then followed post-surgery instructions. Although health care providers may not be able to control whether patients follow post-surgery instructions, researchers found that this area was not where the problem was. While 78 percent of patients said that they followed post-surgery instructions, less than half of the patients said that they knew what to expect before surgery and felt prepared.

A patient who was not fully informed about the risks of a surgery before being injured during the procedure may have a case for filing a medical malpractice claim. An attorney may be able to help a patient who has been injured by conducting an investigation into the client's health records and gathering evidence of surgical negligence.

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