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BMC Surg. 2013 Aug 8;13:30. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-13-30.

Patient experiences with interventions to reduce surgery cancellations: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Institute of Social Science, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Postbox 1336851 Sogndal, Norway. einar.hovlid@hisf.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The cancellation of planned surgery harms patients, increases waiting times and wastes scarce health resources. Previous studies have evaluated interventions to reduce cancellations from medical and management perspectives; these have focused on cost, length of stay, improved efficiency, and reduced post-operative complications. In our case a hospital had experienced high cancellation rates and therefore redesigned their pathway for elective surgery to reduce cancelations. We studied how patients experienced interventions to reduce cancellations.

METHODS:

We conducted a comparative, qualitative case study by interviewing 8 patients who had experienced the redesigned pathway, and 8 patients who had experienced the original pathway. We performed a content analysis of the interviews using a theory-based coding scheme. Through a process of coding and condensing, we identified themes of patient experience.

RESULTS:

We identified three common themes summarizing patients' positive experiences with the effects of the interventions: the importance of being involved in scheduling time for surgery, individualized preparation before the hospital admission, and relationships with few clinicians during their hospital stay.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients appreciated the effects of interventions to reduce cancellations, because they increased their autonomy. Unanticipated consequences were that the telephone reminder created a personalized dialogue and centralization of surgical preparation and discharge processes improved continuity of care. Thus apart from improving surgical logistics, the pathway became more patient-centered.

PMID:
23924167
PMCID:
PMC3750692
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2482-13-30
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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