A How-To Guide For Lowering Patient Surgical Anxiety By Creating Branded Programs
A Comprehensive Approach: How to Lower Patient Surgical Anxiety Through Branded Programs and Resources
Written by: Aaron Michael Buch
Many patients who need surgery often put it off due to fear and anxiety of the procedure itself. This can lead to delayed treatment, which can have a negative impact on both the patient’s health and the medical practice’s bottom line. In order to address this issue, medical practices that provide surgery should proactively create full programs and provide resources to help patients overcome their fear and anxiety.
One of the main benefits of creating these programs is that it can help the medical practice to build trust and credibility with patients. By providing patients with the information and support they need to understand and manage their fear and anxiety, the practice can demonstrate that it is committed to providing high-quality care and to making the surgical experience as comfortable as possible.
Providing resources for patients can also help to increase patient satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to increased patient retention and new patient referrals. When patients feel well-informed and supported, they are more likely to feel confident about their decision to undergo surgery, and to have a positive experience overall.
Creating these programs can also help to improve patient outcomes. When patients are better prepared for surgery and have a better understanding of the procedure, they are more likely to follow through with their treatment, which can help to prevent complications and improve recovery time.
So, how can medical practices create these programs? Below is a guide to help practices create a successful program:
Part of this process is to destroy the stigma that is strange or in anyway abnormal to have fears regarding surgery. Society has made huge improvements over the last few decades, but there are miles of improvement to come. Is a grown man going to admit to his 30 year old daughter that he is avoiding spine surgery or a knee replacement because he is scared? It’s certainly possible and we hope more people seek out support to increase their quality of life. Having said that, the data is fairly clear that the generations who need surgery now, were raised with a different stigma surrounding panic or anxiety.
1. Assess the needs of your patient population: Before developing a program, it’s important to understand the needs of the patient population. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or interviews with patients.
2. Develop a plan: Once the needs of the patient population have been assessed, it’s important to develop a plan for addressing those needs. This can include creating informational materials, providing support groups, or developing a pre-surgery preparation program.
3. Create informational materials: Creating informational materials, such as brochures, videos, or webinars, can help to provide patients with the information they need to understand and manage their fear and anxiety.
4. Provide support groups: Support groups can be a great way for patients to connect with others who are facing similar fears and anxieties. These groups can be led by trained professionals, such as social workers or psychologists, or by other patients who have undergone surgery.
5. Develop a pre-surgery preparation program: This can include education on what to expect before, during, and after the surgery, as well as additional resources such as virtual tours or virtual consultations to help prepare patients.
6. Monitor and evaluate the program: Once the program is in place, it’s important to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or other methods to understand how patients are responding to the program and how it can be improved.
7. Offer pre-surgery counseling: Many patients may benefit from pre-surgery counseling to help them prepare for the procedure and to manage any emotional concerns they may have. Counseling can be done individually or in a group setting and can be led by a trained professional such as a therapist, counselor or psychologist.
8. Create a patient resource center: Having a designated space on the website or within the practice where patients can easily access resources, such as videos, articles, and FAQs on the procedure, can help patients to better understand the process, and feel more prepared.
9. Encourage patients to take an active role in their care: By engaging patients in the care planning process, it can help them to feel more in control, and alleviate feelings of anxiety. Encourage patients to ask questions, and involve them in decision-making, so they feel more invested in their care.
10. Create an internal team: Having a team of medical professionals that could include nurses, anesthesiologists, and other specialists who can provide support and information, can help to ensure that patients have all the information they need to feel more at ease.
11. Address patients’ fears and concerns: It is important to address any fears or concerns that patients may have before the surgery, as well as provide ongoing support post-surgery. This can be done through follow-up appointments and check-ins, and by providing additional resources such as a patient helpline or email support.
By adding these additional steps to the guide, medical practices can create comprehensive programs to help patients overcome fear and anxiety of surgery. These programs can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient population and should be regularly evaluated and updated to ensure they are effectively addressing patients’ needs. Additionally, it’s important to note that while these steps can help patients to manage fear and anxiety, it’s not just the responsibility of the medical practice, but it’s also the patient’s attitude and mindset that can help alleviate fear and anxiety too.
Medical practices that provide surgery can benefit from proactively creating full programs and providing resources to help patients overcome their fear and anxiety. By doing so, they can build trust and credibility with patients, increase patient satisfaction and loyalty, and improve patient outcomes. By following the steps in the guide provided above, medical practices can create an effective program that meets the needs of their patients.
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