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Pre-Admission Testing (PAT)

Patient Care

The goal of DHMC’s Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) clinic is to insure that our patient population is ready for surgery. Our clinic is staffed by anesthesiologists, nurses, and office support personnel whom the preoperative patient will see approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery date. At PAT, nurses review patient medications, all necessary paperwork and diagnostic information is completed, including possible lab work, EKG, and chest x-ray. In addition, patients take a survey which asks simple medical questions designed to direct the ordering of appropriate preoperative lab tests.

We have a comprehensive anesthesia consult service for patients of greater complexity who are either self or surgeon referred. Typically, there are three to five such consults per day as well as phone consults or follow-up for patients who do not need to be seen in person.

By instituting a system for bypassing healthy patients from the clinic, we have reduced waiting times, decreased stress on clinic resources, and allowed greater focus on more critically ill patients. In addition, we have started to work in conjunction with our surgical colleagues in identifying and eliminating low-value and unnecessary testing in an effort to increase the value of the surgical experience for our patients. We continue to evaluate and evolve our PAT process in an effort to align with our institutional goals of focusing on patient health not healthcare, value not volume, and quality not quantity of services provided all grounded in a population-based delivery model.


In PAT, the resident teaching curriculum centers on pre-operative evaluation and preparation for surgical patients as well as the practical, emotional, and ethical elements involved in the patient interview process.