TITLE

The Effect of Clinical Pathway Implementation on Total Hospital Costs for Thyroidectomy and Parathyroidectomy Patients

AUTHOR(S)
Markey, Donna W.; McGowan, Jim; Hanks, John B.
PUB. DATE
June 2000
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Jun2000, Vol. 66 Issue 6, p533
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Clinical pathways have long been used to guide the delivery of patient care in varied practice settings. There is little information in the literature to document the effectiveness of pathway implementation in general surgical populations. This study reports the effect of clinical pathway implementation in two general surgical patient groups, thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy. Clinical pathways were implemented to serve patients undergoing thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy surgery. The effects of both clinical pathways on total hospital costs, length of hospitalization, variances, and outcomes were collected and evaluated from July 1998 through July 1999. These data were compared to data from the previous year. The average length of stay for parathyroidectomy patients decreased from 2.4 to 1.5 days (P = 0.26) for pathway patients as compared to prepathway patients. The average cost per case decreased from $5071 to $4291 (P = 0.50) for parathyroidectomy pathway versus prepathway patients. The average length of stay decrease for thyroidectomy patients was 1.4 to 1.2 (P = 0.16) for the pathway to prepathway comparison. The average cost per case decrease was minor at $4117 to $4111. Pharmacy costs and laboratory utilization were effectively reduced. Perioperative costs rose dramatically during this period, operating room/central sterile supply cost per case rose 12 per cent, anesthesia supply cost per case rose 15 per cent, and surgical pathology costs increased 110 per cent overall for both patient groups. Clinical pathway implementation has allowed us to reduce or maintain total hospital costs in the face of rising perioperative costs. We conclude that implementation of these clinical pathways has allowed us to improve consistency with which we deliver care while maintaining the quality of patient outcomes and reducing the costs of care and length of hospital stay.
ACCESSION #
3214576

 

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