Surgery Success Starts with Presurgical Patient Screening (PSS)



The shift from inpatient to outpatient surgery created a need to screen patients prior to the day of surgery to ensure their suitability and readiness to successfully receive an anesthetic.

Much has transpired since the early beginnings (1980s) and now to create a well-run presurgical screening program.  A successful presurgical screening process should include:
  • Hospital-anesthesiology collaboration in program design and delivery

  • Clearly defined testing, consult, and in-person visit criteria

  • Prescreening process is initiated immediately after case is posted

  • Health history obtained in surgeon’s office forwarded to prescreening

  • Preoperative orders entered into EMR and available for prescreening

  • Patient-signed consent obtained by surgeon forwarded to prescreening

  • H&P forwarded to prescreening a minimum of 24 hours prior to procedure

  • On-line procedure-specific patient education used for preop teaching

  • Clear expectations and open lines of communication with surgeons’ offices

  • Complete patient chart forwarded by prescreening to preop by noon the day prior to surgery for nursing review

"Effective prescreening can mean the difference between an on-time surgery start, delayed, or canceled procedure." Sue Smith, DCCS Partner Surgery Management Improvement Group

If you would like to optimize your presurgical patient screening contact DCCS.