Use of Outpatient Preoperative Evaluation to Decrease Length of Stay for Vascular Surgery

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Interventions that decrease perioperative length of stay can result in considerable cost-savings. This study assesses the impact of same-day admission using outpatient preoperative evaluation on the lengths of stay and hospital costs for patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy (CEA) or lower extremity revascularization (LER). Patient characteristics and length of stay were compared for two 1-yr periods before and after outpatient preoperative evaluation had been implemented. There were no significant differences before and after the initiation of outpatient preoperative evaluation in the CEA and LER groups in mean age and ASA physical status distributions. The average preoperative length of stay decreased significantly from 7.0 to 1.9 days in the CEA group and from 9.0 to 2.8 days in the LER group. This reduction in the length of stay was associated with a cost-savings of $900 per patient and did not have an adverse effect on patient outcome. We conclude that outpatient preoperative evaluation clinics reduce the cost and length of stay in vascular surgery patients. Implications: We found that outpatient preoperative evaluation and same-day admission were associated with a decrease of 4.5 days in the preoperative length of stay for carotid endarterectomy and lower-extremity revascularization. This was not accompanied by increased mortality and led to hospital cost-savings of approximately $900 per patient.(Anesth Analg 1997;85:1307-11)

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