Assessing patient outcomes following surgery, using validated scoring systems, is a very important and useful exercise. It is able to follow and document an individual patient’s progress, can assess the cumulative outcomes of patients undergoing the same procedure and can be a very useful research tool.
I use a web-based outcome system, SOS (Surgical Outcome Scores) to help me and my patients assess their progress and recovery. This will usually be discussed with the patient in the Out-Patient Clinic, when we have decided to proceed with surgery. My Research Nurse will then contact them prior to their surgery to enroll them and record some base line data. Following surgery patients will be contacted occasionally by e-mail at set time intervals to assess their progress. This is predominantly an internet based system, but it is possible to arrange for the data to be recorded by either phone or by post.
Of course, this is an entirely voluntary process and there would be no problem if someone did not want to participate. All of the data collected is held securely and anonymized.