Pre-surgical Clearances: a How-to

May 01, 2020

So you’ve got to get a pre-surgical clearance? Not a problem. Hi! I’m the PFI Blog, and I’m here to help you figure out where to go and who to see. Let’s get started.

Step one: If you need a clearance, the doctor or nurse will notify you, either during your appointment or in a phone conversation after the fact (we may have to call after you’ve left the office if we notice, upon review, that you need a clearance).

Step two: When we notify you, we will let you know which type of specialist you will need to see. On occasion, we will ask you to see your primary care physician. At other time, we may ask you to get more than one clearance. In either case, we will work with you to get the clearance request sent to your doctor if you already have one in the required specialty. If you do not, we will refer you to a doctor (or doctors) who can see you prior to surgery to be cleared.

Step three: Once you have scheduled your appointment with the other doctor, please call us with your appointment date and time. This information is vital to our follow-up process, and many offices will hesitate (and rightfully so) to provide that information to anyone asking, especially over the phone. If you tell us the date and time, we will know when to expect your notes and clearance form to be completed and signed by the other doctor. We can follow up and get the paperwork for Dr. Hoyte to review well in advance of your next appointment.

Step four: This one is on you. You have to go to the clearance appointment. We can’t force you to go, but pre-surgical clearances are mandatory once the doctor has requested them because they are the only way we can be confident of your safety during the procedure. Your safety is our top priority, so please go to your clearance appointment and put our concerns to rest.

Step five: This step is largely ours to take, but you can be extremely helpful to us. We need to actually get a copy of the clearance to review and send to the hospital where you will be having surgery. When you go in to the doctor’s office for the clearance appointment, please let them know that we need the paperwork sent in a timely fashion. We would hate to have to postpone your surgery because some other doctor’s office dropped the ball and didn’t send the clearance in time. Sometimes, they are able to send you home with the form we faxed to them, signed to indicate that you are cleared for surgery. If they do, please call our office to find out whether we need you to send the form in advance or bring it to your next appointment.

Step six: This step will only apply to patients who are told they need additional testing to complete a clearance. If your clearing doctor needs to run testing prior to signing off on your clearance, we would urge you to agree and undergo the testing as soon as possible. If you have concerns about the type of test, the cost, or the first available testing date, please call our office. We can discuss the testing issue and hopefully get the clearance back on track.

And that’s it! Once you’ve undergone all the testing and examinations and whatnot, it will be our job to follow up with the doctor’s office to get the notes and the signed clearance release. We may ask for your assistance in calling the other doctor’s office if they give us grief in requesting your records, but that should be the end of your responsibility as the patient.

Thank you so much for trusting us with your care. Until next time, be well and stay healthy!