Changes in quality of life after elective surgery: an observational study comparing two measures
BACKGROUND The impact of surgery on health is only appreciated long after hospital discharge. Furthermore, patients' perceptions of postoperative health are not routinely ascertained. The authors instituted the Systematic Assessment and Targeted Improvement of Services Following Yearlong Surgical Outcomes Surveys (SATISFY-SOS) registry to evaluate patients' postoperative health based on patient-reported outcomes (PROs). METHODS This article describes the methods of establishing the SATISFY-SOS registry from an unselected surgical population, combining perioperative PROs with information from electronic medical records. Patients enrolled during their preoperative visit were surveyed at enrollment, 30 days, and 1-yr postoperatively. Information on PROs, including quality of life, return to work, pain, functional status, medical complications, and cognition, was obtained from online, mail, or telephone surveys. RESULTS Using structured query language, 44,081 patients were identified in the electronic medical records as having visited the Center for Preoperative Assessment and Planning for preoperative assessment between July 16, 2012, and June 15, 2014, and 20,719 patients (47%) consented to participate in SATISFY-SOS. Baseline characteristics and health status were similar between enrolled and not enrolled patients. The response rate for the 30-day survey was 62% (8% e-mail, 73% mail, and 19% telephone) and for the 1-yr survey was 71% (13% e-mail, 78% mail, and 8% telephone). CONCLUSIONS SATISFY-SOS demonstrates the feasibility of establishing a PRO registry reflective of a busy preoperative assessment center population, without disrupting clinical workflow. Our experience suggests that patient engagement, including informed consent and multiple survey modalities, enhances PROs collection from a large cohort of unselected surgical patients. Initiatives like SATISFY-SOS could promote quality improvement, enable efficient perioperative research, and facilitate outcomes that matter to surgical patients.