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Acute care model improves surgical care quality, lowers costs for 2 procedures
Date:11/7/2012

Chicago (November 7, 2012)An acute care surgery model led to improvement in the quality of surgical patient care and reduced the cost of emergency surgical care at Loma Linda University Medical Center, report researchers who published their findings in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

"Our surgical team is one of the first to address the cost of care in an acute care surgical setting," said Nephtali Gomez, MD, study coauthor and instructor in general surgery. The single most significant finding of our study is that it is possible to improve patient outcome, while at the same time reducing the cost of care," Dr. Gomez said.

The authors explain that the acute care surgery service model was designed to combine trauma and emergency general surgery divisions into one 12-hour in-house shift service and was implemented on July 1, 2010, at their institution, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA. The authors report that this new model "replaces the traditional model whereby non-trauma patients needing emergency surgical care had to wait for the general surgeon on call, who was usually preoccupied with other activities, such as office consults or elective surgery, which often occur outside of the hospital. This resulted in delays of the evaluation and treatment of these critical patients." Additionally, the weekend shift for general surgeons spanned 72 hours with the backup surgeon being the trauma surgeon covering what was a separate service at that time and resulted in an extremely strenuous call.

The researchers compared patient outcomes and cost of operations performed in an acute care setting with a traditional surgical care model in patients undergoing appendectomy and cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) procedures, which are two of the most common surgical emergencies in the U.S. An estimated 280,000 appendectomies and 120,000 cholecystectomies ar
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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