Previously published as: Journal of Management in Medicine
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare
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|Title:||Cancelled elective operations: an observational study from a district general hospital|
|Author(s):||P. Sanjay, (Department of Surgery, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK), A. Dodds, (Department of Surgery, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK), E. Miller, (Department of Surgery, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK), P.J. Arumugam, (Department of Surgery, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK), A. Woodward, (Department of Surgery, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK)|
|Citation:||P. Sanjay, A. Dodds, E. Miller, P.J. Arumugam, A. Woodward, (2007) "Cancelled elective operations: an observational study from a district general hospital", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 21 Iss: 1, pp.54 - 58|
|Keywords:||Clinical audit, Forward scheduling, Hospital management, National Health Service, Patients, Surgery|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14777260710732268 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Cancelled operations are a major drain on health resources: 8 per cent of scheduled elective operations are cancelled nationally, within 24 hours of surgery. The aim of this study is to define the extent of this problem in one Trust, and suggest strategies to reduce the cancellation rate.
Design/methodology/approach – A prospective survey was conducted over a 12-month period to identify cancelled day case and in-patient elective operations. A dedicated nurse practitioner was employed for this purpose, ensuring that the reasons for cancellation and the timing in relation to surgery were identified. The reasons for cancellation were grouped into patient-related reasons, hospital clinical reasons and hospital non-clinical reasons.
Findings – In total, 13,455 operations were undertaken during the research period and 1,916 (14 per cent) cancellations were recorded, of which 615 were day cases and 1,301 in-patients: 45 per cent (
Practical implications – This study demonstrates that 14 per cent of elective operations are cancelled, nearly half of which are within 24 hours of surgery. The cancellation rates could be significantly improved by directing resources to address patient-related causes and hospital non-clinical causes.
Originality/value – This paper is of value in that it is demonstrated that most cancellations of elective operations are due to patient-related causes and several changes are suggested to try and limit the impact of these cancellations on elective operating lists.
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