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How long can patients stay in outpatient surgical centers?

As someone who has had surgery in the past, you may recall feeling that you were discharged very quickly. You wanted to know that you were safe and healing before you were discharged, but it seemed that the staff had no desire other than to see you head home soon.

Now, there is a new bill in Oregon that could mean that recovery rooms would hold patients longer for their safety. Two surgery centers located in Bend, Oregon, are looking into building additional extended-stay facilities, where patients could stay up to two days. Right now, ambulatory surgery centers have no choice but to discharge their patients if they've been at the facility for 24 hours. If they're not ready to return home, then the patients have to be transferred to a local hospital.

This change in the law could help save hospitals a lot of trouble. By avoiding transfers, it keeps hospitals open for emergencies and long-term patients. Patients with just a little pain or longer-lasting anesthetics could simply stay overnight or an extra day at their surgical center, where they'd still receive the care they need. The hope is that this could make things more comfortable for patients who need more time before using oral pain medications, who can't easily get home the first day following surgery or who need to wait before someone can come to take care of them at home.

If the bill passes, surgery centers could apply to add longer-term recovery rooms by early 2019. They could be open for patients as soon as 2020.

Source: The Bulletin, "Surgery centers eye recovery rooms to keep patients longer," Markian Hawryluk, accessed April 12, 2018

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