Risk management in outpatient surgery.

Abstract

Outpatient surgery has become a national policy priority set by health care authorities (targets for more than 70% of outpatient procedures by 2022), making ambulatory hospitalization the new standard of care. This practice introduces new risks along the patient’s course. Even though these risks are low and although the literature and data from insurance databases is reassuring, the risks in outpatient surgery remain poorly understood. Risks can be organizational in view of the many stages of the patient journey that must be formalized-medical, anesthetic or surgical-in view of planned discharge the same evening as the procedure, and medico-legal because of the importance of the discharge authorization and the information provided to the patient. A risk management approach (a priori or a posteriori) has become a mandatory part of a policy of continuous quality improvement and safety of care. The coordination of all the team members (surgeon, anesthesiologist, nursing and administrative staff and the patient’s accompanying person) as well as the patient’s active participation are essential to minimize risks and prevent complications.

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