Features  |   October 2019
Improving Patient Outcomes in Ambulatory Anesthesia: Patient Education Before Operation
Author Affiliations
  • Sher-Lu Pai, M.D.
    Abstract Review Subcommittee on Ambulatory Anesthesia
  • Niraja Rajan, M.B.B.S., FAAP
    Educational Track Subcommittee on Ambulatory Anesthesia
Article Information
Ambulatory Anesthesia / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   October 2019
Improving Patient Outcomes in Ambulatory Anesthesia: Patient Education Before Operation
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 24-26.
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 24-26.
Ambulatory surgery continues to expand rapidly. An increasing number of patients with several comorbidities and advanced age are undergoing more complex procedures in ambulatory surgery centers (ASC). As these patients continue their postoperative recovery in the comfort of their own homes, the ASC practice places a great degree of responsibility on patients and their caregivers to follow discharge instructions. This has caused the practice of ambulatory anesthesia to evolve, allowing for rapid recovery and return to activities of daily living after surgical procedures of greater invasiveness. It has also placed specific emphasis on patient education because patients and caretakers become active participants in the postoperative care and rehabilitation process compared to inpatient surgical practice. In hospitalized patients, perioperative morbidity and mortality, hospital length of stay and readmission rate are measured to evaluate outcomes after surgery.1  Postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting in the brief postoperative in-hospital period have also been used as outcome measurements. While these outcome measures continue to have importance in the ASC practice, several other patient-centered outcome measures demand equal attention. Better patient-reported outcome measures not only correlate with lower patient-reported complications but also with better patient-reported experiences and, perhaps, litigation.1  To further elevate perioperative anesthesia care quality, patient education is crucial in improving outcomes and safety for patients and their caregivers.
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