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J Gastrointest Surg. 2006 Jun;10(6):878-82.

Patient perception of a clinical pathway for laparoscopic foregut surgery.

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Department of Surgery and Steinberg-Bernstein Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


Clinical pathways have been implemented for a number of surgical procedures, yet few data are available that explore the patients' perception of these changes in clinical practice. A clinical pathway was developed for laparoscopic fundoplication, Heller myotomy, and paraesophageal hernia repair. Data collected from a cohort of patients undergoing surgery with the pathway over a 12-month period was compared with a group of patients operated on in the 12 months prior to pathway implementation. A questionnaire examining patient-based outcomes and perceptions was completed 6 weeks after surgery. From November 2001 through November 2003, 49 patients underwent primary laparoscopic foregut surgery, 27 before and 22 after pathway implementation. There were no differences in age, gender, procedure, or ASA Class. Parenteral opioid use diminished significantly without compromising the patients' perceived pain control. The number of patients undergoing postoperative investigations diminished, as did length of stay. Of the 20 post-pathway patients completing satisfaction questionnaires, 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with their care during admission. Pathway implementation resulted in a significant reduction in direct postoperative hospital costs. A clinical pathway for laparoscopic foregut surgery was successfully implemented in a single-payer system, resulting in decreased utilization of hospital resources while maintaining high patient satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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