Shore Health System recently relocated the pre-anesthesia testing center for patients who will be having surgery at Memorial Hospital to a convenient location in the Freeman Outpatient Center at the hospital. Moving this service from the Diagnostic and Imaging Center into the hospital makes preparing for surgery more efficient for patients, their surgeons, the anesthesiology staff and the surgical nursing team.
Prior to undergoing a surgical procedure at Memorial Hospital, individuals meet with a hospital nurse for pre-anesthesia testing. During this appointment the nurse reviews the person’s medical history, medications they are taking and results of lab work ordered by the surgeon. The nurse also discusses the surgery that the patient is scheduled to have and how to prepare for the procedure.
“During the pre-anesthesia testing meeting we put together all of the pieces,” says Susan Walbridge, MSN, RN, manager of ambulatory care for Memorial Hospital. “We moved this service into the hospital so that, when necessary, the nurses can immediately consult with an anesthesiologist to ensure that there are no medical conditions that might prevent a person from moving ahead with surgery.”
Penny Aaron Pink, MS, RN, director of ambulatory and surgical services for Shore Health System, says, “Our top priority is patient safety. We use the pre-anesthesia testing appointment to make sure that we understand the medical needs of each patient and that they are comfortable with the people and environment in which they will be treated. Part of the pre-anesthesia testing process is to discuss the steps we take to prevent infection and to educate people about what they can do to recover quickly and safely after surgery.”
In the pre-anesthesia testing center, three patient consultation rooms are equipped with comfortable chairs that convert to examination tables. The nurses who meet with patients use computers in the exam rooms to access the results of pre-surgical lab work ordered by the surgeon.
“Part of this change is working even more closely with the surgeons’ offices to be sure that their patients get their lab work and other diagnostic testing, such as EKGs, completed before they come to their appointment with us,” Walbridge explains. “We then have all of the information we need to ensure that the patient has a successful outcome.”