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Specific warning signs of complications in colorectal surgical patients released
Date:2/7/2013

that might be important for colorectal surgical patients to watch for at home following hospital discharge. "Whether patients are discharged for a medical or surgical reason, all the discharge instructions are similar'call if you're vomiting, having abdominal pain, or a fever,'" Dr. Li said. "We felt that surgical and medical patients are different, and there might be some specific concerns that may not be addressed by generic instructions."

Therefore, Dr. Li and her colleagues recruited a panel of 11 experts nationally recognized for expertise in colorectal operations, including surgical oncologists, colorectal surgeons, and general surgeons from academic institutions across the U.S. After a preliminary face-to-face meeting at the Academic Surgical Congress in February 2012, the panelists engaged in five rounds of intense deliberation about which warning signs are most important to notice when colorectal surgery patients get home and what should be done about these complications.

The deliberations were modeled after the Delphi method, a communication technique first used in the military and now commonly used in business forecasting and policy making. The technique required that all feedback be given anonymously. "The thought is that collective knowledge is better than one person's expertise," Dr. Li explained. "Everyone is an established expert in the field, but we didn't want any panelist to think that if a doctor is from a particular institution, 'He or she must be right, I'll just agree with what he or she says.'"

Each round of deliberations started with questions like "describe at least 10 symptoms you would warn your patients about," then "rate these warning signs in order of importance and explain [why]." After Dr. Li and her team compiled the responses, the answers and comments of the group were e-mailed to all panelists along with the next round of questionnaires.

Even though discharge instructions are relatively s
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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