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Surgical patients more likely to follow medication instructions
Date:6/17/2014

A study in the July issue of Anesthesiology revealed that patients who receive a simple, multicolor, standardized medication instruction sheet before surgery are more likely to comply with their physician's instructions and experience a significantly shorter post-op stay in recovery. These findings are important because surgical patients often fail to follow their doctor's medication instructions for preexisting conditions such as diabetes and hypertension on the day they are having surgery a costly mistake that can lead to surgery cancellation, complications and longer hospital stays.

"Certain long-term medications should be continued on the day of surgery, and some should be temporarily stopped, but there is no consistency in how patients receive medication instructions before surgery," said Thomas Vetter, M.D., M.P.H., ASA member and study lead author, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Physician anesthesiologists are responsible for assessing and optimizing patients' preoperative medications, including maximizing their compliance with physicians' instructions. Our effort to enhance patients' understanding of medication use before surgery is important and can increase patient satisfaction by more actively engaging them in their own health care."

The study compared 519 surgical patients who were given preoperative medication instructions through traditional methods (annotated or highlighted portions of the patient's electronic medical record, or verbal instructions) and 531 patients who were given a written, standardized preoperative medication instruction sheet, which was presented and verbally reviewed with patients. The instruction sheet listed all of the medications the patient was instructed to take on the day of surgery (e.g., beta-blocker, etc.), the medications the patient should not take (e.g., blood-thinner, etc.), and the medications that could be taken as need
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Contact: Theresa Hill
t.hill@asahq.org
847-268-9246
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Source:Eurekalert  

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