Pre-Anesthetic Medical Evaluations: Criteria Considerations for Telemedicine Alternatives to Face to Face Visits

Kushal D. Khera, Joseph D. Blessman, Mark E. Deyo-Svendsen, Nathaniel E. Miller, Kurt B. Angstman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The number of pre-anesthetic medical evaluations (PAMEs) being conducted in primary care is increasing. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine has surged, providing a feasible way to conduct some of these visits. This study aimed to identify patient-related factors where a face to face (FTF) evaluation is indicated, measured by the need for pre-operative testing. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients age ≥ 18 years who had a PAME between January 2019–June 2020 at a rural primary care clinic in Southeast Minnesota. Data collected included age, gender, Charlson Comorbidity Index Score, medications, revised cardiac risk index (RCRI), smoking status, exercise capacity, body mass index, and pre-operative testing. Logistical regression modeling for odds ratios of outcomes was performed. Results: 254 patients were included, with an average age of 64.1 years; 43.7% were female. Most were obese (mean BMI 31.6), non-smoking (93.7%) with excellent functional capacity (87.8% ≥ 5 METs). 76.8% of the planned surgeries were intermediate or high risk. 35.0% (n = 89) of visits resulted in medication adjustments and 76.7% (n = 195) in pre-operative testing. Age ≥ 65 years, ≥7 current medications, and diabetes all significantly increased the odds of requiring pre-operative testing (P <.05). Conclusions: This study was able to identify patient-related factors that increased the likelihood of requiring pre-operative testing. Patients who are age ≥ 65 years, ≥7 current medications, and those with diabetes could be scheduled for a FTF evaluation. Others could be scheduled for a telemedicine visit to minimize health-care exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • eHealth
  • healthcare access
  • pre-anesthetic medical evaluations
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy


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