Study: Physicians Often Unaware of Postprocedure Complications Perceived by Patients

May 31, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Physicians are often unaware of problems their patients experienced after procedures, suggesting that patients have very different perceptions of postprocedural problems than their physicians and may benefit from increased education, according to the results of a study published online May 20, 2013, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study found that patient’s postprocedure complaints of problems were rarely documented in the medical record. Of the 866 patients, all being treated for nonmelanoma skin cancer, more than a quarter (27%) reported having a problem after treatment and 14% of these self-reported problems were identified by the researchers as medical complications. Of the patients who reported medical complications, 7% experienced pain, numbness, or itching; 5% had problems with wound healing; 5% had infections or swelling; 2% had bleeding; and 2% had problems with motor nerve function.

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