CINCINNATI: Ethicon-Endo Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company that makes surgical instruments for minimally invasive surgeries, has hired APCO Worldwide to launch a "Smarter Patient" campaign.
Before undergoing surgery, patients are advised to ask five questions on such topics as alternative treatments, whether registered nurses will be part of the surgical team, whether disposable instruments are reused between patients, and the processes in place to prevent medical mix-ups (such as doctors administering the wrong medication).
APCO is targeting consumers, nurses, and surgeons, said Laura Lebson, senior associate.
Patients about to have surgery are directed to a website (www.smarterpatient.com) for more information about what they should ask their surgeons. APCO also is coordinating media outreach and a VNR.
Healthcare providers are receiving the information through professional meetings, Lebson said.
A 1999 Institute of Medicine report created "a lot of fallout" when it found that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year because of medical errors, Lebson added.
"It's always a timely issue," she said.