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AAAHC Publishes Revised Preoperative Evaluation and Testing Toolkit

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) announces the release of a fully updated Ambulatory Surgery and Preoperative Evaluation and Testing Toolkit. Ambulatory surgery centers can utilize this toolkit to guide development of their preoperative evaluation program. The toolkit includes more visual aids and recommendations by patient condition for patients undergoing intermediate and high-risk elective procedures.

Emphasizing the importance of preoperative evaluation as a means to identify patient comorbidities, this toolkit is designed to help organizations minimize adverse perioperative outcomes and maximize patient safety. Additionally, the toolkit outlines parameters for preoperative testing. For low-risk patients or for those receiving minimally invasive or low anesthesia procedures, the benefits of preoperative testing may be outweighed by the risks of performing tests that are not needed, expensive, or likely to cause unnecessary anxieties due to a false positive. Evidence also suggests that current guidelines may be recommending more testing than is necessary for ambulatory surgery patients.[1]

“Based on current research and AAAHC Standards, the toolkit is designed to help ambulatory providers systemize preoperative evaluation in order to decide which, if any, tests are required based upon the clinical situation and the patient’s medical history,” said Noel Adachi, MBA, president and CEO of AAAHC. “Ambulatory providers must balance routine testing against the need to recognize and protect against risks for patients who are not as healthy or are having more invasive procedures and higher levels of anesthesia.”

The toolkit provides guidance on the necessary steps for preoperative evaluation, which include completing a medical history and physical exam, conducting a risk assessment, and determining if a preoperative test is necessary. In addition, the toolkit provides important considerations related to the timing of various preoperative evaluations.

“AAAHC toolkits offer best practices and highlight current research on a variety of ambulatory topics, as well as checklists, process flows, and forms that may be immediately integrated into day-to-day operations,” said Renee Greenfeld, MBA, senior vice president of marketing and business development for AAAHC. “All of our toolkits underscore the many ways AAAHC works with accredited organizations to help them be 1095 Strong, quality every day, throughout the 1,095 days of the accreditation term.”

To order the Ambulatory Surgery and Preoperative Evaluation and Testing Toolkit, please visit: https://www.aaahc.org/quality/patient-safety-toolkits/.

1. Langell JT, Bledsoe A, Vijaykumar S, Anderson T, Zawalski I, Zimmerman J. Implementation of national practice guidelines to reduce waste and optimize patient value. J Surg Res. 2016 Jun 15;203(2):287-92.

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