Exchange Sidebar: Risk Scoring Criteria and patient education

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“I have been talking with my colleagues concerning use of risk scoring criteria (for example the APACHE scores in intensive care patients) and the development of risk criteria for pre-op surgical patients. Risk adjusted criteria for patient selection as well as patient education prior to going through procedures are vital considerations for MIEC’s surgical policyholders. We are going through an evaluation of infectious complications of joint replacements at my local medical center with a mix of various orthopedists in the community.

Of note: There is significant variance in “quality of patient protoplasm” from doctor to doctor as well as variance in technique. As the infectious disease doctor that comes in to clean up after the fact, I commonly run into patients who had no understanding that they are “high risk.” Only after describing the multiple comorbidities (e.g., morbid obesity, diabetes mellitus, venous and vascular disease) and their significant increased risk for infections do they better appreciate the potential risks. The process of defining risk for patients before or early in the process of care would certainly decrease physician risk.”

Steven Una, MD, specializing in infectious disease – MIEC Board of Governors, Loss Prevention Committee

*A sidebar of The Exchange – Originally appeared as a sidebar in The Exchange #4 published July 2013