Preoperative clinic visits reduce operating room cancellations and delays

Anesthesiology. 2005 Oct;103(4):855-9. doi: 10.1097/00000542-200510000-00025.


Background: Anesthesiologist-directed preoperative medicine clinics are used to prepare patients for the administration of anesthesia and surgery. Studies have shown that such a clinic reduces preoperative testing and consults, but few studies have examined the impact of the clinic on the day of surgery. The authors tested whether a visit to an anesthesia preoperative medicine clinic (APMC) would reduce day-of-surgery case cancellations and/or case delays.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of all surgical cases during a 6-month period at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Case cancellations and rates of first-start case delay over the 6-month period were cross-referenced with a database of APMC attendees in both the general operating rooms and the same-day surgery suite. The impact of a clinic visit on case cancellation and delay in both sites were analyzed separately.

Results: A total of 6,524 eligible cases were included. In the same-day surgery suite, 98 of 1,164 (8.4%) APMC-evaluated patients were cancelled, as compared with 366 of 2,252 (16.2%) in the non-APMC group (P < 0.001). In the general operating rooms, 87 of 1,631 (5.3%) APMC-evaluated patients were cancelled, as compared with 192 of 1,477 (13.0%) patients without a clinic visit (P < 0.001). For both operating areas, APMC patients had a significantly earlier room entry time than patients not evaluated in the APMC.

Conclusions: An evaluation in the APMC can significantly impact case cancellations and delays on the day of surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Retrospective Studies