Ensure Your Patients Know the Plan After Discharge — What Now?

We need to take sensible approaches and use new tools to solve this disheartening problem

If you’re like me, you’re bewildered and disheartened by the results of this study recently covered in CORRelations. But it is still an important one to read.

Like many of you, I’ve tried many approaches to help improve patient understanding and compliance with instructions. How many times have you heard the patient say “I never heard that” when you clearly made a suggestion? Instead of despair, I suggest two options from the article:

  1. Pen and paper. Patients stated that their preferred method of recall was simply to have a pen and paper in the room. Sometimes, the most sensible and cost-effective solution is the best. As orthopaedic surgeons, we should always ensure that patients have this simple method available to write their notes.
  2. Technological aids. On the other extreme, technological advances continue to be developed, including AI- and EMR-based solutions, and may prove helpful. As these solutions continue to evolve, we should thoughtfully deploy them.