From May to September of 2019, the Ridge Meadows Hospital Physician Engagement Society funded a project where a red “POST-OP” stamp was recorded on Emergency Room (ER) charts that would notify doctors, nurses and unit clerks of any patient coming through the ER that had had surgery but had not yet met with their surgeon post-op.
The objective was to improve communication pertaining to post- operative patients, from the ER to the treating surgeon. This would allow surgeons to better follow their patients, and perhaps result in patients returning to the office sooner than their routinely scheduled visit; and also, fewer preemptive treatments leading to better patient outcomes and less repeat emergency department visits.
At the time of registration, the patient would let clerks know that they were here with a post- operative issue within the 6-week period prior to their post-op follow up. Each of these patients would get a red POST-OP stamp on the front of their chart. This acted as a flag to all healthcare professionals that this patient had just had surgery and that their chart needed to make it back to the surgeon’s office.
Although there were challenges (staff forgetting to stamp the charts, staff remembering to fax the charts back to the surgeon’soffices, the extra time it took to document who the patient’s surgeon was), the project was ultimately deemed a success.
Staff will continue to mark the charts in an effort to keep improving the communication flow between post-op patients, from the ER to treating surgeon.
❖ Within 3 months, there were over 115 patients that came into the ER with issues regarding post-operative concerns.
❖ More staff have been made aware of the amount of post-op issues that come through the ER.
❖ More surgeons are being notified that their patients have come into the ER prior to their post-op follow- up.