Preadmission Visits for Low-Risk Outpatient Surgeries No Longer Required

Starting this month, low-risk patients who are undergoing low-risk, outpatient surgical procedures in a Piedmont outpatient department will no longer be required to fulfill the standard preadmission visit.

Instead, these patients will receive a preoperative phone call assessment from nurses in preadmission testing (PAT) or the admission testing area (ATA). If the assessment results warrant, the nurse will cancel the PAT/ATA visit before the procedure.

This change takes effect Aug. 21. It’s based on evidence in the medical literature and recommendations from professional societies including the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The evidence shows that testing low-risk patients who are undergoing low-risk procedures does not contribute medically useful information.

The change impacts providers, certain nurses and registration team members:

  • Preadmission testing nurses will begin performing preoperative phone call assessments for patients, causing a volume shift in traditional PAT/ATA appointments from an onsite visit to a phone call. This phone call is documented in Epic within three to five days of the scheduled preadmission testing or admission testing appointment for low-risk patients having low-risk procedures with no overnight stay in an outpatient surgical setting.
  • Registration staff volume shifts are expected from registering patients during the traditional PAT visit time frame to the day of surgery.

The change will increase patient satisfaction because patients and/or their family or friends will avoid coming to a Piedmont facility for the preadmission test visit. In addition, the change contributes to standardized patient care because it removes the need for clinical staff to obtain unnecessary lab tests that could prevent a delay in surgery or a canceled procedure.

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