A recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina Health Care Ambulatory Surgical Center in Chapel Hill shows nurses who call patients three business days prior to a scheduled surgery decreases the daily cancellation rate by 53 percent, and helped increase patient satisfaction scores and operating room use.
The study, conducted over a two-year period by Kimberly Haufler, RN, and Mary Harrington, BSN, RN, who both work at the ASC, was reported on in the July issue of the AORN Journal.
Ms. Haufler says the call script followed when calling patients is used both three days and one day before surgery. Nurses at the surgery center use the script to communicate preoperative information and address any questions or concerns.
"I'm sure having a nurse repeat the instructions clearly, twice, is key," she says. "Also, the patients, when they find out they are talking to a nurse, often volunteer information about their health that helps us adjust the OR schedule to avoid cancellations."
Download the ASC's call script (pdf) for adaptation and use in your facility.
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