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October 23, 1987


JAMA. 1987;258(16):2272-2273. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400160126035

The specialty of anesthesiology continues to exhibit great activity in education, research, and expanding clinical practice roles. I have chosen to discuss three areas that are of interest at the present time: outpatient surgery, monitoring,and chronic pain control.

As diagnosis related groups have put great pressure on hospitals to keep the census low, as surgeons have learned that it is not always necessary to keep patients in a hospital for three or four days postoperatively, and with the greater acceptance (and often desire) of patients to spend as little time in the hospital as possible, the demand and use of short-stay, outpatient facilities have grown rapidly. At present, these facilities take care of nearly 50% of the patients operated on each day in an acute-care hospital. Although the surgery remains the same whether the patient is in the hospital or is an outpatient, differences in anesthetic techniques are necessary for