Dr. Rachel Thompson Creates Surgical Preparedness Program to Increase Patient Outcomes

A special bond between Dr. Rachel Thompson and patient ambassador Scarlett Ferguson inspired an educational program to reduce anxiety and increase patient outcomes

Date: 09/01/2021

Dr. Thompson, Dr Geig visit with patient Scarlett and mom Keri all masked in operating room atire

OIC/UCLA Center for Cerebral Palsy Director Dr. Rachel Thompson and her colleagues recently conducted a study to determine the impact of preoperative anxiety on the long term outcomes on their patients.  The study found decreased anxiety caused improved patient outcomes and less dependence on opioids.

Dr. Thompson and team didn’t stop there. With the assistance of OIC Patient Ambassador Scarlett Ferguson, Dr. Thompson created the Surgical Preparedness Program, a series of education videos to prepare patients and their families for every step of their journey.

“She doesn’t talk about me, she talks to me,” Scarlett says of Dr. Thompson. “She talks to me like a person. She explains how the surgeries will work so that I don’t feel as uncomfortable when I go into the operation room. She also takes good care of me.”

In addition, Scarlett says the Child Life Specialists at UCLA Health make her feel extra comfortable prior to surgery by staying with her until she falls asleep so she “doesn’t feel alone.”

“Then after the surgery, they bring in music specialists and they play my favorite songs. They bring me toys, they play games and they make me feel comfortable,” Scarlett says.

Read more about the program here.