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URMC / Research / Research@URMC / April 2014 / For Sick, Elderly Patients, Surgical Decision Making “Takes a Village”

For Sick, Elderly Patients, Surgical Decision Making “Takes a Village”

Surgery for sick, elderly patients can be very risky. In deciding whether or not to undergo a procedure, patients (and possibly their caregivers) usually undergo a one-on-one consultation with their surgeon, who is frequently solely responsible for most of the decision making and management surrounding a possible surgical procedure. This traditional approach has potential pitfalls, including the fact that patients may not be presented the full range of treatment options.Nurses and doctors talking

In an opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, Laurent G. Glance, M.D., advocates for a more patient-centered, team-based treatment approach to surgical decision making for this high-risk group of patients. He believes such decisions should be orchestrated by a multidisciplinary team, including the patient, his or her family, the surgeon, primary care physician, nurses and non-clinicians, such as social workers.

In the end, he thinks that this method will lead to higher quality care that matches the values and preferences of patients and their families.

Read more about the study here

Emily Boynton | 4/10/2014

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