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Patient Information

Compared to those undergoing traditional surgery, patients undergoing ambulatory surgery have an increased responsibility for their preoperative preparation and their recovery from surgery at home. The time spent preparing a patient for ambulatory surgery in a surgical facility is less than that for inpatient surgery.
Therefore, provision of appropriate information about all phases of the surgical process is important, not only to ensure the success of the procedure, but also for patient safety. An effective policy for information provision aims to:
  • prepare a patient psychologically for surgery;
  • educate the patient about the particular procedure and pre- and postoperative care;
  • minimize risks in the postoperative period;
  • improve patient satisfaction with the overall day-surgery experience and aid anxiety reduction;
  • obtain informed consent for surgery.
An informed patient is able to better adjust to surgery and is less likely to cause cancellations or delays or return for emergency room visits or hospital re-admission.
Information about medical and organizational aspects should be provided to the patient in a structured manner. The use of both oral and written information is essential; one informs, while the other reinforces and vice versa. Other media forms, such as video clips or the internet, may also be considered. The information must be consistent across the entire process of care, from the referring physician to the staff of the facility and those involved in aftercare. It should empower patients to take charge of their own care as far as possible. Finally, the role of each staff member in information provision should be identified and the timing of information provision coordinated since patients will come in contact with and receive information, at different stages, from administrative, nursing and surgical staff.