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September 19, 2016

The Importance of Patient Assessments Before Anesthesia

September 19, 2016

patient assessment before anesthesia

It’s a more common issue than we realize: medical professionals are sometimes asked to provide anesthesia for a patient without any knowledge of that patient’s medical history or current physical condition.

A thorough evaluation of the patient’s health history, current physical condition, and psychological state before administering anesthesia is a necessity. This has always been a requirement, but it’s especially vital to perform these assessments before each appointment when the patient is scheduled to receive anesthesia so that the agent and dose can be properly determined, as well as the techniques that should be used.

Yes, local anesthetics are generally safe when given in therapeutic doses. But that doesn’t make these evaluations any less important.

Updated Health History Forms

Usually, a patient is asked to complete a comprehensive health history form prior to treatment at any clinic. The medical professional who will be administering anesthesia should have a full understanding of this form so that he or she can make an appropriate plan for care.

These forms should be updated regularly to reflect any current medical concerns going on in the surrounding areas (or the world in general), but there is no legal requirement that a patient should fill out a brand new form with each visit. An update is sufficient, as long as the patient is asked about the following things at each appointment:

  •      Changes in overall health
  •      Conditions they are currently being treated for
  •      Current drugs, medications, or over-the-counter products they are using

Physical Evaluations

Health history forms are largely subject to the patient’s level of awareness and honesty, which means that something can easily be left out, either accidentally or on purpose. This kind of information deficit has the potential to cause major problems when it comes to anesthesia, so it’s essential to conduct a physical assessment in order to evaluate the patient’s vital signs.

These vital signs can identify conditions that may require a change in treatment. They can also give baseline values that might be needed by the medical professional during treatment or if an emergency arises.

Vital signs that should be taken before anesthesia include:

  •      Blood pressure
  •      Pulse
  •      Respiration
  •      Weight

Ensure that Your Practice Can Focus on Patients

Your patients deserve your full attention. So what happens if you’re worried about something else, like accounts receivable or your revenue cycle? You need to call in an outside expert to manage these things for you.

That’s where we come in. If you need help with anesthesia billing, don’t waste any more time worrying about it. Contact us today!

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