Advances in surgical techniques and anesthetic delivery coupled with paradigm shifts related to health care delivery and finance have dramatically increased the throughput of pediatric surgical patients in the ambulatory care setting. In just a 10-year span, we have seen an almost 50 percent increase in the number of anesthetics delivered to children in ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), totaling 2.3 million in 2006. With the increase in surgical procedures performed on an outpatient basis, ASCs are forced to be more efficient with respect to rapid discharge home. Therefore, strategies for efficiently assessing postoperative “home readiness” will be imperative to keep up with the throughput demands of pediatric patients in ASCs.

It is well accepted that discharge from an ambulatory setting should not be time-based, as it may prolong the recovery process unnecessarily. The updated practice guidelines for post-anesthetic care by ASA suggest that a mandatory stay should not be...

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