Surgical outcomes can vary significantly based on many factors, but often the most telling factor is the patient’s readiness for surgery. When it comes to elective surgeries the Specialists Services Committee is funding and supporting the Surgical Patient Optimization Collaborative (SPOC), which improves patients’ readiness for surgery.
SPOC is all about change and how a patient can be supported before surgery to obtain the best results.
Patients are given a greater awareness of how they can influence their health results and are provided support to help them be optimally prepared. Sharlene, a hip replacement patient living in Quesnel, recently talked about her experience with SPOC – “it was such a positive experience, I’m glad to share it.”
About a week after Sharlene was booked for hip replacement surgery, she received a call from Nicole, a nurse navigator to explain what being part of SPOC would entail and answer any questions. In fact, throughout the eight-month process leading to Sharlene’s surgery,
Nicole called her regularly to see how she was doing and to answer any questions.
Sharlene says, “This regular connection helped to keep my anxiety down because I was able to have questions quickly answered and not running around in my head for too long.”
Nicole reviewed the patient optimization passport with Sharlene, which contains components of pre-habilitation such as physical activity, mental health, nutrition, pain management, sleep, social support and so on. Through this review Sharlene was able to identify areas that she needed to work on including diet and physical activitiy to improve her movement.
Sharlene observes, “I had access to so much stuff at home with resource websites and sitting in on group Zoom calls with a physiotherapist who went through movements and held a Q&A session – I felt like I was part of a team.”
When asked about other patients that she knew who didn’t go through SPOC, Sharlene talked about their experience of not having ongoing contact and the need to travel long distances outside their home communities to receive pre-surgical care. “One person I knew had to travel 11 hours roundtrip, sitting in a car for that long in pain was very hard on him.”
When Sharlene received her surgery date, she had phone calls with her physiotherapist, blood work done at the local hospital and she didn’t have to worry about unnecessary travel, particularly during COVID. Sharlene said, “I knew all the details were taken care of and I only had to travel to Prince George on the day of surgery.”
Sharlene sums up her thoughts, “I wish this program will be available to all patients who have elective surgery. It’s such a valuable resource. Patients can do so much at home – take care of themselves – a lot of the preparation can be done in the home community. Particularly in this time of COVID, it is great peace of mind. I’m just so thrilled with my outcome. I went into surgery with no anxiety and came out of surgery with no issues. I think this program was a critical part of my success.”