Study objective Pre-anesthesia evaluation (PAE) is designed to reduce patient and family anxiety, identify pre-existing health issues, avoid surgical delays, minimize costs, and tailor an anesthetic plan. If PAE requires a clinic visit, patients must take time off work and may incur travel and childcare costs. A telephone-based Preoperative Assessment Clinic can minimize patient inconvenience, while maintaining high-quality patient care and improving efficiency. We assessed patient satisfaction with a telephone PAE and determined whether patients preferred a telephone PAE or a conventional clinic visit. Design Prospective, institutional review board-approved study. Setting University hospital. Patients We conducted an IRB-approved telephone survey of 75 adult, post-operative patients. Interventions Telephone survey. Measurements Patients were asked about their preference for a telephone PAE over an in-person evaluation. Survey questions included assessment of patient satisfaction with their anesthesia evaluation, operation, and anesthetic delivered. Delays and day of surgery cancellations were reviewed. Main results The majority (97%) of patients stated they preferred a telephone PAE. Patient satisfaction was unaffected by driving distance (30 ± 54 mi), ASA physical status or duration of surgery (169 ± 159 min). Even patients who were not satisfied with their anesthetic (N = 5) still preferred the telephone-based PAE. No increase in surgical delays or cancellation was noted. Conclusion The majority of patients in this survey preferred a telephone PAE. Given the large catchment area of our hospital of nine counties, telephone-based interviews add to patient convenience and likely increase compliance with the PAE. Even patients who live in close proximity to our hospital (<5 mi) preferred a telephone assessment. A telephone-based PAE provides high patient satisfaction over a traditional office visit while increasing patient convenience. Larger studies are necessary to ensure that telephone PAEs compare well with in-person examinations.
- Patient satisfaction
- Pre-anesthesia evaluation
- Surgery cancellation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine