Purpose of the review: Preoperative evaluation and optimization of a patient's medical conditon are important components of anesthesia practice. With ever increasing numbers of patients with serious comorbidities having complex procedures as outpatients, the task of gathering information and properly preparing for their care is challenging. Improvements in assessment and management can potentially reduce adverse events, improve patient and caregiver satisfaction, and reduce costs.
Recent findings: A growing body of literature and evidence-based practices and guidelines can assist clinicians who work in the expanding field of preoperative medicine. Care providers from various specialties in medicine are developing innovative methods, tools, and knowledge to advance science and processes. Data-driven practices are beginning to close the information gap that has plagued this field of medical practice.
Summary: Preparation of patients before surgery is a necessary and vital component of perioperative medicine. Practices are developing to guide effective interventions that benefit patients and healthcare systems. Outpatients present special challenges to preoperative assessment.