In the retrospective study, the traditional surgical team performed 82 appendectomies and 51 cholecystectomies from July 2009 to June 2010. The acute care surgery team performed 93 appendectomies and 51 surgical removals of the gallbladder from July 2010 to June 2011.
Researchers found that patients benefited significantly from earlier surgical evaluation, earlier surgical intervention, earlier recovery, and earlier return to home in the acute care model compared with the traditional model.
In the traditional model, researchers reported the mean cost for each patient undergoing appendectomy was $8,942.00 compared with the acute care surgery model of $7,018.00, a cost savings of $1,024.00 per patient.
For each patient undergoing cholecystectomy, the cost saving was a significant $3,225.00 in the acute care surgery model, according to researchers, who reported the cost for the traditional model was $13,128.00 compared with $9,903.00 in the acute care surgery model.
The acute care surgery team, combining trauma procedures and general surgical pro-cedures, also has an impact on the training and education of surgeons, according to Dr. Gomez.
"It will be part of the post-residency training of the new generation of critical care surgeons," he said. "As more institutions turn to the acute care model, medical centers will be looking for surgeons who have background and training in the acute care surgery model."
A movement that started a few years ago, "the acute care surgery model is definitely now a trend, as more and more medical centers switch to the acute care model, especially since the initiation of fellowships in acute care surgery," Dr. Gomez said.
The improved timeliness of care, from surgical evaluation to length-of-stay in the hos- pital is key to the acute care surgery model, according to the authors. It reorganizes the use
of trauma and general care surgeon
|Contact: Sally Garneski|
American College of Surgeons