Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)






In addition to cancelations and delays of needed surgical procedures, serious or fatal complications can occur when patients with low health literacy do not comply with preoperative instructions. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to provide more insight about ways to decrease on cancelled and delayed surgical procedures in low health literacy patients' due to noncompliance with preoperative fasting instructions. The project was informed by the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance model (King, D. K., Glasgow, R. E., and Leeman-Castillo, B. (2010). The project question centered on whether health literate preoperative fasting instructions could decrease cancellations and delays of surgical procedures in low health literate patients. The project setting was conducted at a doctor's office. Interventions and changes to the preoperative instruction sheet were evaluated by using the preoperative communication checklist (POCC) which was developed for this project study. A 3-month pre-post POCC intervention design was used to evaluate changes in the numbers of cancelled and delayed surgical cases among 30 low health literate patients at a local community physician's office. The Newest Vital Sign which is a health literacy skill level assessment tool developed by Pfizer (2012), was used to assess patient health literacy. 30 (13 women and 17 men) who were aged 17-75 were enrolled. Pre-intervention, the and cancellation rate was 16.67%. Post intervention, there was a zero percent cancellation rate. This project has potential to produce positive social change by empowering patients with health literacy instructions for better understanding of what is being asked of them when having surgical procedures. This knowledge may result in better patient outcomes.