Study identifies optimal timing for phone calls after skin surgery

August 18, 2020

Phone calls after Mohs micrographic skin surgery can address patient concerns and quickly identify complications. But what is the optimal time for dermatologists to check-in with surgical patients after surgery? A new study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care provides insight into how the timing of post-operative phone calls can address pain, bleeding and overall patient satisfaction.

Researchers enrolled 400 patients into a randomized controlled trial that included four arms. The control group did not receive a call after surgery. The second arm received a call from a physician the evening of Mohs micrographic surgery. The third group received a call the day after surgery. The fourth arm received a follow-up call two days after surgery. The doctors used standardized scripts on all calls to gauge bleeding and insufficient pain control. In addition, patients on all four arms of the study received a phone call seven to 10 days after surgery from research staff to assess their satisfaction. The results from the study showed 83% of patients contacted the evening of surgery experienced active pain, compared to 67% on day two and 51% on day three.

"We found follow-up calls made the evening of surgery best identified patients with active pain," said senior author Nicholas Golda, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the MU School of Medicine. "This presents an opportunity to better coach patients through pain management and adjust medications if the calls are made on the evening of surgery rather than at other points."

While the study identified when a patient is most at-risk for active pain, no single group best identified bleeding complications or highest pain levels. In addition, a comparison of the four groups designed to evaluate different aspects of patient experience did not show any statistically significant differences.

"While surgeons may elect to make follow-up calls, these do not seem to strongly contribute to overall patient satisfaction," Golda said. "It is somewhat surprising that the control group's experience, quality of care and willingness to recommend scores matched the groups that received follow-up calls. This finding is contrary to our previously held belief that these calls directly affect patient satisfaction."

In addition to Golda, the study's lead author was MU School of Medicine micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology fellow Robert Bednarek, MD. MU School of Medicine student Corey Jonak also contributed to the study.
The study, "Optimal timing of postoperative patient telephone calls after Mohs micrographic surgery: A randomized controlled trial," was recently published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

University of Missouri-Columbia

Related Patient Satisfaction Articles from Brightsurf:

Patient monitoring systems for sepsis - mixed results on patient outcomes
Automated patient monitoring systems (PMSs) have been designed to reduce delays in diagnosis of sepsis in hospitalized patients.

Patient experiences in medical imaging and radiation therapy: The importance of skilled patient care professionals
I went into the MRI bracing for the wave of panic I knew would come as soon as I was strapped down and inside the machine.'' In ''A Tale of Two MRIs'' by patient Lelainia Lloyd, her experiences--good and bad--are shared as part of an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, published by Elsevier.

Improved work environments enhance patient and nurse satisfaction
Healthcare provider burnout is a mounting public health crisis with up to half of all physicians and one in three nurses reporting high burnout, data show.

How does long-term quality of life, patient satisfaction compare for appendicitis treatments?
Researchers compared long-term quality of life and patient satisfaction among those patients who were treated with antibiotics or who had their appendix removed for uncomplicated acute appendicitis.

Hospitality, not medical care, drives patient satisfaction
Patients' ratings of hospitals and willingness to recommend them have almost no correlation to the quality of medical care provided or to patient survival rates, according to new Cornell University research.

Individuals with obesity get more satisfaction from their food
A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found no significant difference in taste perceptions between participants of normal weight and those who were overweight.

Global AFIB patient registry shows new tools needed to assess patient risk
Initial results from the AVIATOR 2 international registry are being presented as late-breaking clinical science at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Increased patient-provider communication affects outcomes of the IBD patient journey
It is estimated that 3 million Americans live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

WVU researchers find telemedicine may increase patient satisfaction with medical care
A recent study led by Albeir Mousa, a professor in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, suggests telemedicine may improve patients' satisfaction with their postoperative care as well as their quality of life.

High patient satisfaction rates after 'Adam's apple' reduction surgery
Cosmetic surgery to reduce the masculine appearance of the 'Adam's apple' has a high patient satisfaction rate, according to a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery--Global Open®, the official open-access medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). 

Read More: Patient Satisfaction News and Patient Satisfaction Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to