Fast-Tracking Ambulatory Surgery Patients Following Anesthesia


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Abstract

Purpose:The purpose of this process improvement project was to introduce and evaluate the efficacy of fast-tracking ambulatory surgical patients in a community hospital.Design:An observational pre-post design was used, in which patient data from a reference period (pre-fast-tracking) was compared with patient data collected during an implementation period (post-fast-tracking).Methods:Anesthesia providers were trained to use a tool to assess patients for eligibility to bypass the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Fifty-nine patients met the fast-track criteria during the implementation period and were transferred directly to the ambulatory care unit from the operating room.Finding:During the fast-track implementation period, a PACU-bypass rate of 79% was achieved, and a significant decrease in the total number of patients held in the operating room and in total length of stay was noted.Conclusions:Results suggest that fast-tracking is a suitable intervention to increase work flow efficiency and decrease both patient and hospital costs while promoting a more rapid discharge from the facility.

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