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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-22

Time spent by patients in a pre-anaesthetic clinic and the factors affecting it: An audit from a tertiary care teaching hospital

Department of Anaesthesiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Suma Mary Thampi
Department of Anaesthesiology, Christian Medical College, Ida Scudder Road, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_368_17

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Background and Aims: Patient satisfaction from a pre-anaesthetic clinic (PAC) visit is greatly influenced by time spent there. We aimed to determine time spent in a PAC without an appointment system and the factors affecting the same. Methods: Four hundred and eight patients coming to PAC were tracked using a time-motion study model. Time spent in waiting and consultation was recorded. Independent variables potentially affecting time spent were documented. Patients were grouped based on independent variables, and the groups were compared for significant differences using appropriate statistical tests. Workload pending on physicians was calculated on an hourly basis by counting number of patients waiting and number of physicians in PAC. Results: Non-parametric statistical tests were used for analysis because the data were not normally distributed. The median and inter-quartile range for waiting time, consultation time and total time were 60 (30–90) minutes, 17 (12–26) minutes and 79 (53–111) minutes, respectively. There was considerable variation in all three. Waiting time was significantly lower in patients posted for same-day surgery or those arriving on a stretcher or wheelchair. Consultation time was correlated with American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status and grade of surgery. Most patients arrived in the morning rather than at equal intervals. Waiting time and workload were therefore maximum in the midmorning and dropped rapidly in the afternoon. Conclusion: Large variability in waiting time is linked to lack of an appointment system, and to patients being seen out of turn.

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