First Experience In Pre-Op Screening Clinic

I’m eating breakfast and reviewing good ‘ol pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics before my call shift this afternoon, but I wanted to drop a quick blurb about the four days I spent in anesthesia pre-op screening clinic last week.

The overall purpose of this clinic is to determine if patients are safe for their surgery. Often times they already have enough of a workup (labs, tests, etc.) and simply need to fill out the consent for anesthesia. Other patients need to be “medically optimized” based on their history, physical exam, and recent lab work before proceeding to the operating room.

Operating room time is expensive – having to cancel a case on the day of surgery literally costs thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there’s plenty of data showing fewer cancelled cases for patients who are sent to the anesthesia pre-op clinic. Yes, it’s an extra clinic appointment for the patient, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to raise questions and address concerns from both the patient and physician perspectives.

For those who are interested in more information, here’s a nice article from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine: Nuts and bolts of preoperative clinics: The view from three institutions

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