By Fran Cameron

agh_logo  Almonte General Hospital is launching a new clinic to ensure optimal surgical outcomes by providing assessment and education of surgical patients at an earlier stage in the surgery process.

Starting on January 31, 2014 and continuing every second Friday thereafter, the new Pre-Anesthetic Clinic (PAC) will be staffed by one anesthetist and one nurse.

Surgical patients will be pre-screened by their surgeon and an Almonte General Hospital anesthetist to identify medical or physical risks that require further investigation. This process will help ensure a safe and successful surgical experience.

At the clinic, patients will be assessed regarding suitability for surgery at Almonte General Hospital and for any further tests or consultations that may be needed.

During the assessment, patients’ medical history—including their medications, allergies and any reactions to anesthesia—will be reviewed.

Patients will have the opportunity to ask questions about their surgery, the type of anesthesia they are to receive and any preparation required.

“The PAC will be an excellent opportunity to evaluate patients who would benefit from preemptive assessment and therapy,” says family physician Dr. Melissa Forbes.

“We will be able to identify patients with medical problems well in advance of surgery, and order appropriate tests and consultations to prepare them adequately for their surgery.”

Another benefit of the new clinic, says Fran Cameron, Manager of Emergency and Surgical Services, is the information that will be made available to patients.

“By providing education at the clinic, we will be giving more comprehensive care to our surgical patients, and working to eliminate risk in order to provide a quality experience.

Fran Cameron is Manager of Emergency and Surgical Services for Almonte General Hospital.