Ambulatory surgeries require the same infrastructure found in a hospital operation room, considering the type of surgery to be performed. However, as the recovery is done in an assisted manner in the comfort of the home, wards and apartments are not required for hospitalization.
Outpatient surgeries, as previously mentioned, are those that do not require hospitalization. That is, the patient originates from his home and returns to it a few hours after the procedure so that he can recover safely, comfortably and conveniently.
The fact that outpatients do not need hospital structures designed for hospitalization does not mean that their procedures will be performed with a different structure than that found in hospitals. In fact, modern outpatient surgical units have an advanced structure, identical to that found in the best hospitals.
The modern ambulatory operating rooms bring together all the safety, comfort and convenience items of today’s best hospitals.
Items such as air conditioning with positive pressure and HEPA filters (capable of filtering even the smallest microorganisms), conductive vinyl floors, walls with washable liners, pendants for video-surgical, endoscopic and anesthetic equipment, medical gas plants, electrical installations that guarantee the uninterrupted supply of energy (even in situations of interruption of supply to the external network), vacuum and compressed medical air, surgical LED lighting, medical grade monitors for laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures, anesthetic equipment and infusion pumps are some of the necessary items for good practices in Ambulatory Surgery.
Outpatient operating rooms designed for dental care should include carts with low and high rotation pens, ultrasonic tips, electric micromotors, triple syringes and light curing.
Multiparametric monitors, which allow continuous and real-time monitoring of electrocardiographic parameters, pulse oximetry, blood pressure (invasive and non-invasive), body temperature and capnography are essential.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation equipment and emergency life support must be in place.
It is important that ambulatory surgical units are close to referral hospitals, and there must be contingency plans in the event of the need for removal or hospitalization of the patient, and transportation must be carried out by a mobile ICU and always assisted by the anesthesiologist or the assistant surgeon.
There should also be administrative support structures for admission and medical record of the patient’s clinical data, correct identification of the patient by a specific bracelet throughout the patient’s stay in the facilities and post-anesthetic recovery beds, with a multiparametric monitoring structure, medicinal gases and aspiration. In the case of elderly or pediatric patients, it is important to have seats for their companions.
Unlike a hospital surgical unit, which provides coverage for scheduled procedures but must always be ready to receive emergencies of varying degrees of complexity, ambulatory surgical units only deal with scheduled procedures. In addition, always with low-risk patients (healthy or with controlled chronic diseases) and for performing procedures of low and medium complexity. Thus, there is great predictability about the clinical outcomes, as opposed to an emergency, for example.
This is important considering that clinical outcome predictability, planning of support structures, supplier networks and stocks can be precisely estimated. And some services can be outsourced as long as the supplier’s tracking capacity is preserved, significantly reducing costs but without jeopardizing quality and safety. This is the case of CME, pharmacy, laundry and kitchen.
By saving resources normally spent on unnecessary services in the context of Ambulatory Surgery, it is possible to focus on what really matters to the patient. And the savings obtained make it possible to expand the offer of services to all those in need.