CINCINNATI—Ethicon-Endo Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company that develops and markets advanced surgical instruments for less invasive and traditional surgery, has hired APCO Worldwide to spearhead an initiative aimed at empowering patients to take ownership of their healthcare by arming themselves with information and knowing what questions to ask before surgery.
According to a company press release, at a time when surgical infections and medical errors continue to receive attention, patients are becoming more involved than ever before in the decisions that affect their care.
“More informed patients are more positive patients and have better outcomes,” says Sheila Allen, recent past-president of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, and a national spokesperson for the Smarter Patient Campaign. “Unfortunately, many patients do not get the information they need—either because they are afraid, or because they do not know what questions to ask. The Smarter Patient Campaign is a great way to encourage patients to take ownership, and become active partners in their medical care.”
The campaign, managed by APCO, suggests patients should ask five questions before surgery: are there other options for my condition; will a registered nurse be present in the operating room; will reprocessed disposable instruments be used in my surgery; am I receiving the right medication; and how will the surgeon verify he or she is performing the right surgery on the right place on my body?
In addition, APCO has been working with the government of Mongolia to earn the Asian nation designation as one of 16 countries to receive funding from President Bush’s Millennium Challenge Corp. program. The funding is at least in part a reward for Mongolia’s decision to send 173 troops to Iraq.