Working together during a community crisis

Overcoming fear of surgery with patient-centered care

Lauren Fortune, 66, twisted her knee at work in 2011. The result was a meniscus tear that led to knee surgeries. Her first surgery, a total knee replacement for her left knee, went fine, but the anesthesia and pain medications made her very ill, resulting in a difficult recovery.

In 2014, Fortune needed to have another knee replacement for her right knee, but she was afraid of repeating her past experience. She turned to Dr. Navin Fernando at UW Medicine Hip & Knee Center at Northwest Hospital for assistance. Fernando knew that to help Lauren overcome her fear, she had to be an active participant in making decisions about her care. Patient-centered care means being respectful of and responsive to patient needs and ensures that patient values guide clinical decisions.

Fernando set up a special consult with the hospital’s Surgical Pain Relief Service. Together, they worked to come up with a new drug protocol so Fortune could have the surgery and heal without the medications that made her sick.

"The whole process went so well, and I credit Dr. Fernando for my pain-free life today," said Fortune. "It was a very positive experience."