The impact of a dedicated Acute Care Surgical Service on the delivery of care for patients with general surgical emergencies

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Metcalfe, Jennifer
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Introduction: Acute Care Surgery (ACS) is a new model of emergency general surgery care developed to provide prompt, comprehensive, and evidence-based care to acutely ill non-trauma surgical patients. Our objective was to determine the impact of implementing ACS on efficiency of care (EOC) and patient outcomes. Methods: A retrospective review was performed for patients with acute appendicitis (AA) and biliary tract disease (BTD). EOC measures and patient outcomes were compared over two time periods: pre-ACS (2007) and ACS (2011). Results: n=1,229 patients were included in this study; n=507 (pre-ACS), and n=722 (ACS). Surgical response times and acquisition of imaging were significantly faster with ACS. Time to OR and total LOS were similar between cohorts. Similar rates of daytime operating were present. With ACS and AA, there were more perforations, more ORs were performed at night and patients were readmitted more frequently. Conclusions: Increased volumes of patients were seen with ACS, but surgical assessments and imaging were significantly faster. Inpatient EOC measures were unchanged with ACS; outcomes for AA were worse.
Surgery, Acute Care Surgery, Efficiency of care, Patient outcomes