The work of an Ambulatory Surgery Center doesn’t end when the patient goes home after a procedure. For patients to heal successfully and for your ASC to thrive, post-op patient communication is essential.
Recovery at home can be difficult and uncomfortable. Staying connected with patients after they've gone home helps alleviate potential problems and spurs recovery. Phone calls, texts, or emails can be used to make sure patients are comfortable and on track toward successful recovery. There are several ways post-op patient communication helps with recovery:
- Ask patients how they are feeling to evaluate their pain level.
- Make sure they don’t have any questions regarding in-home care and what they can and can’t do while recovering.
- Send educational emails, texts, or videos that outline proper wound care, exercise, and post-op therapies in detail.
- Follow up on how healing is progressing to minimize the risk of post-op infection.
Recovering at home offers advantages over recovering in a clinic or hospital (including reduced risk of infection and patient comfort), but it can also be isolating. Some patients may feel that they aren’t getting the same attention and level of care they might have received in a hospital setting unless proper patient communication is established.
Following up the day after surgery and sending helpful educational materials assures patients that they are just as important to your ASC team after surgery as they were before surgery. Providing a phone number or email patients can use to reach out about post-op concerns gives patients a feeling of control and comfort, knowing they can reach out at any time if they are worried about anything. Patients who aren’t stressed and feeling abandoned are happier and will be more likely to use your ASC in the future. They will be more likely to heal quickly and fully because their stress load is reduced.
Post-op patients recovering at home have people looking in on them, talking to them on the phone, and dropping by with good wishes. Family and friends naturally ask questions and are concerned about their loved ones’ welfare. When your ASC follows up with patients and keeps the line of communication open, their friends and family rest easier knowing that the patient they care about is being monitored and cared for post-surgery.
Post-op texts and calls will be remembered long after the patient recovers, particularly if they need surgery in the future. Most individuals looking for an Ambulatory Surgery Center for a procedure rely at least in part on the suggestions of others who have had similar operations. Being attentive to the needs of your patients now will result in recommendations later.
The worst feeling in the world after surgery is being "abandoned" by the medical staff once the surgery is complete. It makes patients feel like a number, not a person. Post-op communication, including educational information and inquiring about the patient’s mental state, pain level, and any concerns they may have, reassures patients that they have not been simply processed and forgotten. Patients who experience active post-op communication are more likely to use your facility in the future if they need another surgical procedure.
Surgery leaves patients vulnerable. They may experience pain, fear of complication, and a variety of other unexpected emotions. Proper post-op communication minimizes their discomfort, reassures them, and enhances the reputation of your ASC.
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