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Practicing engaged medicine at ASCs — How videotaping surgery promotes transparency & patient engagement

Mobile phones are integrated into almost every facet of our daily lives, with people recording anything from cliff diving in Switzerland to even their medical procedures.

Since its Peter Berden 5x7inception nearly 30 years ago, Center for Sight in Sarasota, Fla., has provided patients access to the procedure room via DVDs, and most recently, mobile phones.

"We have been doing this for a while," says Peter Berden, Center for Sight's chief compliance officer. "The method has changed."

Center for Sight aims to practice 'engaged medicine,' which involves directing resources to educate both patient and family every step of the way. Center for Sight's Founder David Shoemaker, MD, integrated videotaping, narration and observation of procedures into his practice to promote transparency and patient engagement.

"Videotaping lets the patients know that surgery is not a scary process," Mr. Berden says. "It takes the mystery out of it."

Videotaping surgeries is not a novel concept for Center for Sight, but the device recording the procedure has changed. With mobile phones, patients can designate a guest to videotape the procedure directly on their phones in the observatory. During the procedure, a narrator will discuss what the surgeon is doing step-by-step.

Some ASCs may have privacy concerns about the videos, but Center for Sight ensures patients give permission to record the procedures. In fact, most patients are receptive to videotaping surgeries. "It is really exciting to watch patient leave amazed," Mr. Berden says. "A lot of patients want to show their family members and friends what their experience was like."

With the tape, patients' family members and friends may serve as potential patients for Center for Sight. As healthcare trends toward transparency, taping surgeries can not only build a patient base, but can also foster enhanced provider-patient relationships.

"If you have great surgeons who know what they are doing, it shouldn't be a problem," Mr. Berden says. "We were pioneers in recording surgeries and giving it to patients. It truly is a novel concept for the ASC industry."

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