New Assessment Tool Could Improve Discharges from Postanesthesia Care Unit

November 8, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A new assessment tool is safe and reliable for assessing patients' readiness for discharge from the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) to different levels of care, according to a study in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing. The Readiness for Discharge Assessment Tool (RDAT) uses 10 yes or no questions to determine whether a patient is ready for discharge. If the answer to any question on the assessment is “no," an anesthesiologist's assessment is required to clear the patient for discharge. The idea behind the RDAT is that a dichotomous “yes" or “no" answer will weigh all criteria equally, and thus be more beneficial than a rating system that other assessments use, totaling responses of 0, 1, or 2 to a list of criteria. The RDAT tool was tested at both an acute-care hospital with 368 beds and a 193-bed specialty women's hospital in an urban area in the southwestern United States.

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