School is in session for surgery patients

Three women part of SurgFit School standing together outside smiling.
SurgFit team members
June 23, 2023

Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) patients will be better prepared for surgery than ever, thanks to the new initial trial of the SurgFit School – an innovative program which provides participants with personalised care from a multidisciplinary team to help ensure they are surgery-ready.

This initiative will prepare patients both physiologically and psychologically before surgery, with a one-hour group education session focusing on exercise and nutrition, psychological support, alcohol and smoking cessation counselling, as well as access to educational resources and support groups.

FSH Registered Nurse and member of the SurgFit team, Diane Vince, explained that prehabiliation before surgery can lead to shorter hospital stays, reduced complications and an improved quality of life following surgery.

"By focusing on optimising patients' health before surgery, the chances of a successful outcome are greatly improved," Diane said.

"Importantly, it will also help empower our patients and their families with their own care.

"We are very proud to launch this ground-breaking program, with patients undergoing Upper Gastrointestinal and Colorectal procedures becoming the first cohort to access the service.

"We believe SurgFit School has potential to revolutionise the way patients prepare for surgery and we look forward to rolling it out to all FSH surgery patients, and eventually throughout all South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS)."

SurgFit School is supported by the Kaartdijin Innovation team and is a pivotal element of the SMHS Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025 goal to 'educate patients to improve outcomes for surgery'.

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