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J Pediatr Surg. 2000 Feb;35(2):232-4.

Home bowel preparation for elective colonic procedures in children: cost savings with quality assurance and improvement.

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Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, The James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Clarian Hospital Systems, and Clarian Home Care Services, Indianapolis, USA.



The current health care environment pressures providers to lower cost and demands quality care that is measured by outcomes and patient satisfaction. Most insurers will not approve bed days for in-hospital preoperative bowel preparations for elective colorectal procedures. This policy does not take into account that infants and children are unable to tolerate large volumes of enteral preparation, which adversely affects outcome because of an inadequate preparation. This report describes a prospective evaluation of a standard home bowel preparation regimen utilizing local and regional home health care agency support.


For an elective colorectal procedure, pediatric patients underwent a home bowel preparation using GoLYTELY (100 mL/kg) via a nasogastric tube infused over 4 hours by a pediatric home health nurse trained in this technique. During the bowel preparation, the nurse educated the family members about the service and performed physiological monitoring to insure safety. At the completion of the preparation, any unusual events were transmitted to the staff surgeon for further instructions. Our initial 30 patients were treated by our hospital home health agency personnel to insure safety. Since then, 41 additional bowel preparations have been performed by statewide agencies.


Seventy-one patients underwent complete home bowel preparation (45 boys; 26 girls). The age range was 3 months to 9 years (average, 5 months). There was one complication caused by incorrect mixing of GoLYTELY causing gastrointestinal cramping. All 71 home bowel preparations were recorded as good at the time of the colorectal procedure by the staff pediatric surgeon. The average cost for home bowel preparation was $300 in network, and $350 out of network. This compares with an inpatient hospital day cost of greater than $800 ($36,000 savings).


This technique offers the pediatric surgeon an opportunity to maintain a high standard of quality care while using home health agency personnel to minimize cost. This program is safe, effective, and associated with a good outcome and a high degree of family satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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