(HealthDay)—About half of cancelled time in the operating room is due to inpatients, according to a study published online April 9 in Anesthesia & Analgesia.
Noting that at least half of operating rooms had their last case scheduled or changed within two working days of surgery, Franklin Dexter, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues examined whether these changes were due to inpatients or outpatients undergoing surgery. Five eight-week periods of cancellation data were obtained from 32 facilities of a nonacademic health system, and eight 13-week periods of cancellation data were obtained from an academic hospital.
The researchers found that outpatients and inpatients accounted for 1.6 and 8.1 percent, respectively, of the scheduled minutes that were cancelled in the nonacademic health system. Inpatients represented less than half of the total scheduled minutes of surgery (16.2 percent), but accounted for about half of the total cancelled minutes (overall, 49 percent; hospitals only, 57 percent). Inpatients accounted for 22.3 percent of the scheduled minutes and 70 percent of the total cancelled minutes in the academic hospital. Fifty-four percent of the total inpatient cancelled minutes were attributable to cases scheduled within one workday before surgery.
"At least half the cancelled time at health systems and hospitals is due to inpatients, and these patients principally are scheduled within one workday of the day of surgery," the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to Medical Data Applications, whose CalculatOR software was used in some of the analyses in the study.
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