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Surgeon. 2009 Apr;7(2):76-8.

The impact of pre-operative assessment clinics on elective surgical case cancellations.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Saint Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, Ireland.


Pre-operative assessment clinics prepare patients for elective procedures. Little is known about their impact on elective case cancellations. We investigated whether a pre-operative assessment clinic would reduce surgical case cancellations. A retrospective review of all surgical cases over a one year period prior to and subsequent to establishment of the clinic was performed. Case cancellations during both periods were compared. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test. There was a 12.7% increase in the number of elective adult procedures performed following establishment of the POAC (815 vs. 723), although this was not significant (p > 0.05). Pre-assessment resulted in a significant reduction in case cancellations (114 vs. 256, p < 0.001). When we analysed the data in terms of the reason for cancellation, we found that cancellations for medical, but not patient reasons were significantly reduced following pre-assessment (p = 0.013 and p = 0.180, respectively). The data suggest that establishment ofa pre-operative assessment clinic reduces elective case cancellations. In particular we found a significant reduction in cancellations for medical reasons.

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