Solid reputation, good communication help surgeons respond to patient consumerism

April 30, 2022

1 min read



Ficke JR. Future of orthopedics: Shaping of surgical innovation. Presented at: Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care; April 29-30, 2022; Newport Beach, Calif.

Ficke reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — It takes solid basic skills and good patient communications to handle the demands of patient consumerism, a presenter said at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care, here.

During a panel presentation about how surgical innovation will shape the future of orthopedics, James R. Ficke, MD, FACS, FAAOS, said that, based on what the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, “we need to be agile. We need to understand our basics first … and to be agile, to learn the skills, learn the basics, learn the blocking and tackling . Because, what I learned in residency is still applicable, but the techniques are different,” he said.

Orthopedic surgeons should start from an agile base to prepare and respond to patient consumerism, said Ficke, who is professor and chair, department of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

James R. Ficke

James R. Ficke

Patient consumerism comes in different forms, such as online feedback and physician rating scores. With the proper mindset and skills, orthopedic surgeons can respond to and possibly thrive from it, he said.

Regarding the role of patient consumerism in future surgical innovations, Ficke said, “patients will look at reputations, so we have to be able to manage our reputations.”

Among the ways that can be done is through how orthopedic surgeons communicate and how they treat people, especially patients, he said.

“I think the future of that is that we are communicating, we are transparent and we are accountable for our outcomes,” Ficke said, noting that being focused on patient satisfaction is often associated with worse outcomes.

“If we focus on the patient and listening to the patient, that’s a basic skill, and outcomes are better,” he said.

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