Access to surgeries: shorter hospital stays after certain types of surgery resulting in excellent outcomes
Vitalité Health Network, Tuesday, September 13, 2022 – With a view to ongoing improvement, Vitalité Health Network continues to innovate in order to improve access to surgeries while ensuring that the public receives safe, quality care. Implementation of the surgical short-stay concept is making notable progress and resulting in excellent outcomes for patients.
According to Dr. Jocelyne Hébert, Medical Director Responsible for the Surgery Sector, this approach has proven effective. “It involves designating short-stay inpatient beds for certain eligible patients who, after undergoing surgery, need a short period of monitoring or care before being discharged,” she explained.
The stay is usually 24 to 36 hours. There are eight short-stay inpatient beds at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre and three beds at Chaleur Regional Hospital. “In Bathurst, we even plan to increase the number of beds to eight over the course of the next year,” she said.
Dr. Hervé David, orthopedic surgeon, and Lisa Chiasson, nurse manager of the Surgical Suite at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital, talking with a patient before he leaves the hospital.
There are many benefits to surgical short stay. Prioritization of patients is more effective and a larger number of certain types of surgeries can be performed. The referral of certain patients to surgical short stay helps avoid admissions to traditional surgery units and keeps the beds in these units for more complex cases. Finally, this approach helps stabilize and, in some cases, reduce wait times.
The development of protocols and the outstanding collaboration of surgeons has helped avoid more than 2,000 inpatient days since 2018. Examples of cases admitted into surgical short-stay units are bariatric, urology, gynecology and orthopedic (certain hip, knee and spinal column surgeries) cases.
The Network is continuing its work with the goal of implementing this initiative in the Northwest and Restigouche zones.