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Anesthesiology. 2005 Oct;103(4):855-9.

Preoperative clinic visits reduce operating room cancellations and delays.

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  • 1University of Chicago Hospitals, IL 60637, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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

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