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Published on November 13, 2012

Surgical Patients Benefit from Pre-Procedure Evaluation/Pre-Admission Testing at CKHS Hospitals

In Brief

  • Crozer-Keystone Health System aims to make our patients’ experiences less stressful by performing pre-admission testing (PAT) or pre-procedure evaluation (PPEC) prior to a patient’s surgery.
  • One of the benefits of these pre-procedure activities is that questions or concerns about the patient’s health or the ability to have surgery can be identified early in the evaluation process.
  • The health system also works to make the post-procedure period as stress-free as possible by checking insurance authorizations, eligibility and benefits in advance to ensure that insurance will cover the service the patient receives.

Needing surgery can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Crozer-Keystone Health System aims to make patients’ experiences less stressful by performing pre-admission testing (PAT) or pre-procedure evaluation (PPEC) prior to surgeries.

“The purpose of this testing is multifaceted and is for the benefit of the patient. The goal is a great outcome and a positive patient experience,” says Lauren Delpino, director of Ambulatory Services for Crozer-Keystone. “Doing PPTs and PPECs in advance helps take the stress out of the day of surgery and helps us to deliver high quality care.”

One of the benefits of these pre-procedure activities is that questions or concerns about the patient’s health or the ability to have surgery can be identified early in the evaluation process. Patients who require surgery will typically be brought in 14 to 28 days prior to the surgery to ensure that they are properly cleared for the procedure. In the instance that a patient is scheduled for a surgery days before his or her appointment, he or she will have a PPES/PAT scheduled as soon as possible.

Getting a patient in early gives him/her a chance to have additional testing, if needed, and to obtain medical clearances for surgery as opposed to coming into the hospital on the day of the procedure and finding the surgery will be canceled due to a medical complication.

During an appointment at any of Crozer-Keystone’s Pre-Admission Testing Centers, the patient will complete all registration, testing forms, and health history reviews. The patient will also be taught what they can expect with their specific procedure and how to prepare both pre and post surgery.

During the PAT or PPEC testing, each patient is asked and educated about medications, a medical history report is taken and an anesthesia assessment is completed. In addition, blood work and additional testing such as an EKG or chest X-ray will be performed based on the findings at the appointment.

“By scheduling patients for a PAT/PPEC appointment early before a surgical procedure, we can better prepare the patient for their stay with CKHS and ensure that plans for discharge have been made,” Delpino says. “These services are one and the same at all our hospitals, but can be communicated differently.”

This assessment has always been known as pre-admission testing and may be referred as this by the surgeon. A patient may hear PAT and PPEC used interchangeably.

Let’s not forget about what goes on after surgery. “We do not want our patients surprised with anything after a surgery; that is why we make sure that the patient understands the financial aspect of the surgery in advance,” Delpino says. “Understanding and handling the financial aspect prior to the service as opposed to getting a bill while recuperating will improve patient satisfaction.”

Post-procedure is typically a challenging time for most people who have gone through surgery. CKHS works to make this period as stress-free as possible by checking insurance authorizations, eligibility and benefits in advance to ensure that insurance will cover the service the patient receives.

In addition, other financial responsibilities are explained to the patient, such as out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments and deductibles. The PAT or PPEC appointment will provide the patient who may be struggling with the financial aspect of the procedure time to meet with a financial counselor to discuss payment arrangements, financial assistance or to help qualify the patient for other programs like Medicaid.

Who to Call

It is important that all patients call the Patient Service Center at 1-888-525-4772 or any of the centers listed below to schedule their PPT/PPEC appointment as soon as they know the date of their surgery:

  • Pre-Procedure Evaluation at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, (610) 447-6021
  • Pre-Admission Testing at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, (610) 284-8463
  • Pre-Admission Testing at Springfield Hospital, (610) 328-8788
  • Pre-Admission Testing at Taylor Hospital, (610) 595-6039 

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