Why surgeons who “get it” determine their own destiny

As surgeons, we have to know. It’s not meant to sound arrogant. But knowing is part of what we do. It’s our job, our responsibility. We know about our patients, their age, general medical health, past surgical and medical history. We know what procedure is required and how to do it. Not knowing anyone of those things puts the patient and you at risk.

If you are in a workplace where knowing matters, you just need to know. You need to know how your patient is doing once you think your job is done. While the patient recovers at home. Most of the time, everything will be fine. And we all know that in a small percentage of patients, there will be a hiccup of some sorts. That’s for sure.

PROMS will safeguard your practice. PROMS helps you know if your patients are unhappy before anyone else does. If you don’t, then it is understandable that they may speak to others–their referring GP for example, or heaven forbid, they leave their defamatory opinions on anonymous chat forums.

All this is becoming increasingly important in a time when the threshold for patients to complain is getting lower and lower; when colleagues complain about colleagues; and when one in three specialists is forced to deal with regulators, such as the Ombudsman, AHPRA or ill-advised hospital administrators.

It can all be largely avoided with a simple automated SMS to your patient’s phone.

PROMS is disseminated by text message to patients at three time points: At 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 6months. The patient response rates are astonishingly high at around 80% for the first two assessment time points. But drops to between 40% and 80% at 6 months.

I receive all my PROMS results in my email inbox straight after the patient responds. I review everyone of the PROMS results and interpret them. If a patient, after a laparotomy, states she is experiencing fatigue in the early postoperative phase–I can accept that.If a patient complains about severe pain, I will enquire. The universal response I receive from patients when I put in a call to them is: “You are so kind. Thanks for checking on me.”It’s that easy to do something so appreciated by your patients. SoI am so excited to see that it is gaining traction.

I understand that any change to a surgeon’s workflow is hard, because our ‘flow’ is essential to our performance and sense of control. But making the small adjustments to your ‘flow’ required to incorporate SurgicalPerformance, will quickly begin making your life and performance as a surgeon easier and more rewarding.

SurgicalPerformance is the only platform commercially available to surgeons where we can control our destiny. Knowing how many cases you did; knowing your outcomes and how your performance compares to similar real-world cases; knowing your quantified patient demographics and your patients’ confounding co-morbidities; knowing how your patients are doing while they recover at home; knowing how they thought you–the surgeon–did; and knowing you’re not an outlier, is a big step towards being in control. That’s why it is becoming the daily practice of more and more performance-minded surgeons.

The cohort is steadily growing! It makes me happy to see the benefits of the platform (to patients and doctors alike) surging. And we welcome any and all like-minded surgeons to join and benefit.

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