TITLE

A New Economic Benchmark for Surgical Treatment of Appendicitis

AUTHOR(S)
Firilas, Anthony M.; Higginbotham, Patti H.
PUB. DATE
August 1999
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Aug1999, Vol. 65 Issue 8, p769
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Cost reduction in the management of common surgical diseases such as appendicitis has become paramount for the survival of children's hospitals. We designed a clinical pathway to treat appendicitis with the goal of reducing cost and hospital length of stay (LOS) while maintaining quality of care. From September 1995 through December 1996, patients with nonperforated appendicitis (NPApp) and perforated appendicitis with peritonitis (PApp) were enrolled into a clinical pathway. NPApp patients were discharged when tolerating a regular diet. PApp patients were discharged if the following criteria were met: temperature < 38.5 Degrees C for 24 hours, WBC < 14,000 on postoperative day 3, tolerating diet, and transition to oral analgesics accomplished. Hospital LOS and actual hospital costs in pathway patients were compared with those of historic controls. Patients with appendicitis from the Pediatric Health Information Systems (PHIS) database, a consortium of 20 children's hospitals in the United States, served as concurrent controls. Hospital LOS and hospital charges in PHIS NPApp and PApp patients from our institution were compared with national PHIS database patients. Mean LOS and hospital costs for both NPApp and PApp pathway patients were significantly decreased compared with historic controls (P < 0.05). Mean LOS and hospital charges in our institution's PHIS NPApp and PApp patients were also significantly decreased compared with the national PHIS database (P < 0.05). Innovative approaches such as these are necessary for the survival of children's hospitals in an increasingly cost competitive healthcare market.
ACCESSION #
2106116

 

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