Preoperative Evaluation Center
The Preoperative Evaluation Center (PEC) assesses a person's overall readiness for surgery. Dedicated to safety, quality and the best possible outcome, our PEC works with surgeons to create a comprehensive surgery (perioperative) plan, encompassing care before, during and after surgery.
Services include hospital preregistration, a complete preoperative evaluation with a physical exam, diagnostic testing when needed, coordination with specialists including referrals, medication management and financial counseling, when needed.
Patients will be given a copy our preoperative instructions (PDF) by the PEC staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does the PEC do?
The PEC works closely with a patient's surgeon and other physicians to create a comprehensive care plan for before, during and after surgery. Medical problems are evaluated in detail, and risks of the anesthetic and surgery are carefully considered and discussed. The PEC applies best practices in surgery care for specific diseases and offers assistance in tobacco cessation, diabetes management and nutrition before surgery.
- Are all patients seen in person?
No. Every patient scheduled for surgery is called by our nurses to answer a health questionnaire. Those with good health can complete the hospital preregistration and presurgical nursing evaluation by phone. Patients with special medical issues may need to be seen by our health care providers, while others may only need a short visit for testing.
- Who makes the appointment?
The PEC staff member completing the phone screening will schedule the patient for a PEC appointment if the patient's answers to the health questionnaire indicate a need to be seen in the office.
- When should a patient be seen by the PEC?
Ideally, patients are seen three to four weeks before a scheduled procedure. This allows adequate time for diagnostic testing, medication management and specialist consultations to be completed. When the surgery date does not allow for this timeframe, all necessary tests, medical records and medication management are completed with patient safety, quality and best possible outcomes in mind.
- Do you review outside medical records?
Yes. PEC staff will gather and review medical records from the patient's primary care physician, specialists, any recent hospital admission or prior surgeries. Patients will be asked to fill out and sign a PEC Intake Form in their surgeon's office to release these medical records. The phone number listed on this form will be used to contact the patient by our PEC staff.
- What happens at a PEC appointment?
The services received at a PEC appointment depend on the complexity of surgery and a patient's medical history. A comprehensive appointment may include: hospital preregistration, a complete preoperative evaluation with physical exam, blood draw and EKG, scheduling of diagnostic tests when appropriate, coordination with specialists including referrals, medication management and counseling, surgery education and financial counseling, when needed. The average length of a comprehensive appointment is 1-1/2 hours. Some patients may have simpler or more tailored visits.
- Who is evaluating the patients?
The PEC is directed by an on-site anesthesiologist and is staffed with three nurse practitioners trained in perioperative medicine. These providers review all medical records and test results, complete a physical exam and coordinate with other involved physicians. The PEC staff completes presurgical medical evaluations, and provides counseling and education.
- Does the PEC provide “preoperative clearance"?
Yes. Most patients seen in PEC do not require additional physician appointments, as our evaluation is the same thing as a “preoperative clearance." If primary care or specialist consultation is needed, the PEC staff will arrange it.
For more information, call the Preoperative Evaluation Center at 706.509.6439.