How to Prevent Day of Surgery Cancellations

According to Bear (2018) writing for Outpatient Surgery, Bear points out the traditional process for verifying a proverbial green light for the patient’s surgery prior to the scheduled day and time of the surgery. The process involves communication between the patient’s primary care physician via an office visit, along with a nurse who calls the patient to verify medical history, NPO (nothing by mouth) status, and a medication history to provide the information for the anesthesiologist with the information that he/she needs to know to let the patient know which medications he/she needs to stop taking and to let the patient know if any additional diagnostic testing (such as chest x-rays) might be required prior to the day of surgery. The existing, traditional, and very manual, method of collecting the necessary information and data prior to a scheduled surgery to ensure that the schedule can continue as planned is fraught with opportunities for human error which results in up to 12.4% of surgeries canceled the same day of the surgery due to something proverbially falling through the cracks in the communication process (Argo et al., 2009).

Surgery cancellations cost hospitals (and indirectly patients via increased costs for medical insurance due to hospital losses) millions of dollars a year. A study by Tulane University Medical Center found that the average cost to the facility for one surgery cancellation was $3,058 (Advisory Board, 2012). Thankfully there is a solution to the antiquated method of ensuring that all of the proverbial t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted with regard to a patient’s medical and medicine history to help to significantly decrease the chance of a same day of surgery cancellation. Confirmed Consent has developed a proprietary algorithm allowing patients, from the comfort and privacy, of their own home to fill out an online survey answering the key questions that anesthesiologists need to have answered prior to the day of surgery. The system confirms that the anesthesiologist has all of the needed patient data and even scores the patient with a risk score related to the potential for a cancellation. The information is electronically sent to the anesthesiologist. In addition, the Confirmed Consent Anesthesia platform includes an electronic consent to treat signed by the patient which is also digitally sent to the medical provider. If you would like to find out more information about how Confirmed Consent can help improve patient satisfaction while reducing medical malpractice litigation risk and reducing same day of surgery cancellations, visit us online at or send me an email. I would love to show you how the system works!