According to research done by Gallup, the more information that a patient had before a surgery, the better the outcome was for the patient. Patients were asked if they knew what to expect after surgery, if they were prepared for their post-surgery experience and if they followed directions given to them after the surgery. Those who were better prepared felt better about the procedure and reported fewer problems after the procedure took place.
Respondents who knew what to expect before and after their surgery were also reportedly better off in the five key areas of well-being, which for this study were purpose, social, financial, community and physical. Patients who felt that they knew what to expect during and after surgery were twice as likely to thrive in those areas compared to patients who did not feel that they were ready for what they were about to experience.
For health care providers, this means taking steps that will improve communication between providers and patients. Some strategies to accomplish this goal include tailoring communication to each individual patient, proactive communication and the use of checklists. Studies have demonstrated that the use of checklists can reduce medical errors as well as improve communication before and after a surgical procedure takes place.
Patients who feel as if they were misled by their doctor or injured due to a surgeon's mistake may wish to talk to an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation. In some cases where negligence can be demonstrated, patients may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and future lost earnings due to an inability to obtain gainful employment.