I think it's great that doctors are paying more attention to whether or not patients are happy with the results of their surgeries. I had a total hip replacement that the doctor and I both thought was perfect. It seemed to me that everyone went out of their way to make sure I was happy with the results. Is this standard these days or was I just in with a good group?
Perhaps a little bit of both. Patient satisfaction is important and a part of measured outcomes. Studies have shown that what patients expect heading into surgery can affect how happy they are with the results afterwards. For sure, everyone expects to have less pain -- and many hope for a pain free hip.
Besides less pain, there is oftan an expectation that the patient will be able to return to participation in any and all activities without restrictions. This goal may be achieved but it could take much longer than the patient originally anticipated.
Medicine has become more competitive these days, too -- more like a big business than ever before. That means there may be some competition for patients. And with the aging of American, it seems that more and more adults wtill have a total hip replacement at some point in their lives.
The economics of health care fit in here, too. Hospital administrators have been conducting studies on the economic impact of joint replacement. Some studies have focused on outcomes, discharge plans, and complications in an effort to streamline the expense of a total hip replacement while maintaining good results.
Michael H. Huo, MD, et al. What's New in Total Hip Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint
Surgery. December 15, 2010. Vol. 92-A. No. 18.
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