Fast-tracking ambulatory surgery patients following anesthesia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


The purpose of this process improvement project was to introduce and evaluate the efficacy of fast-tracking ambulatory surgical patients in a community hospital.


An observational pre-post design was used, in which patient data from a reference period (pre-fast-tracking) was compared with patient data collected during an implementation period (post-fast-tracking).


Anesthesia providers were trained to use a tool to assess patients for eligibility to bypass the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Fifty-nine patients met the fast-track criteria during the implementation period and were transferred directly to the ambulatory care unit from the operating room.


During the fast-track implementation period, a PACU-bypass rate of 79% was achieved, and a significant decrease in the total number of patients held in the operating room and in total length of stay was noted.


Results suggest that fast-tracking is a suitable intervention to increase work flow efficiency and decrease both patient and hospital costs while promoting a more rapid discharge from the facility.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rice, AN; Muckler, VC; Miller, WR; Vacchiano, CA

Published Date

  • April 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 124 - 133

PubMed ID

  • 25813298

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8473

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1089-9472

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jopan.2014.01.006


  • eng