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Fall 2013

Tips For Improving Anesthesia Pre-Admission Testing Processes

Madeline Hyden
Staff Writer/Editor, MGMA Corporate Communications

The pre-admission testing (PAT) process can be crucial to assessing patient risks associated with anesthesia and to help decrease surgery delays and cancellations.

Experts at this year’s MGMA 2013 Anesthesia Administration Assembly in Miami offered the following tips to help anesthesiology organizations optimize their PAT processes:

  • If the hospital or surgery center provides patients with a packet of information before surgery, consider including a letter that outlines their financial responsibility to prevent miscommunications on the day of surgery regarding co-pays or insurance coverage.
  • Work with your hospital or surgery center to standardize all PAT requests from anesthesiologists, nursing staff and surgeons. If all members of the team have the same expectations for patient care before surgery, the less likely there is to be a delay or cancellation.
  • Consider implementing your own PAT procedures at the hospital with which you contract. This can be an opportunity to standardize PAT procedures to improve patient outcomes, strengthen your relationship with your contracted hospitals and the surgeons with whom your anesthesiologists work.
  • If your staff performs pre-admission testing, train them to communicate effectively with patients and to ask detailed questions. Patients may share information during the PAT questionnaire that affects other tests or procedures, such as details about family history or medication.
  • Make sure your staff knows the appropriate timeframe for the anesthesiologists and surgeons to review the PAT results before surgery. Some hospitals and surgery centers require 48 hours notice; some may require up to a week.


Madeline Hyden
Staff Writer/Editor, MCMA
Corporate Communications