“PROs are potentially as useful for hospital medicine as for any other type of medical practice,” says Shaun Frost, MD, SFHM, SHM president and associate medical director of care delivery systems for HealthPartners Health Plan. “There is a big opportunity for hospitalists to incorporate shared decision-making to learn patients’ preferences, such as expectations of when they will be discharged, and understanding of therapeutic options.”
Peri-surgical care is a particularly important opportunity for hospitalists to demonstrate their value by leveraging PROs, according to Dr. Frost. “Patients sometimes come to the table with unrealistic prior expectations that physicians can make pain go away completely. We need to clarify their expectations preoperatively, when we meet them for the very first time, so that they establish a realistic baseline,” he says. “We then need to have a diligent conversation with them immediately after their operation to discuss their pain-management goals, a realistic physical therapy schedule, and post-discharge expectations.”
By clearly understanding patient objectives, hospitalists can “adjust the therapy they’re getting to their expectations, maximizing its effectiveness while minimizing delays in care and transitions to other care settings,” Dr. Frost says.
Chris Guadagnino is a freelance medical writer in Philadelphia.
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