Consolidation of Acute Care Surgical Services: learning from patient experiences
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Consolidation of Acute Care Surgical Services (ACSS) as a response to multiple challenges in providing timely and high-quality emergency services is a growing interest among healthcare policymakers. However, very little is known about patient experiences within this system. This study explores patient perceptions of their acute care surgical experiences within a consolidated ACSS program. A qualitative study guided by the tenets of Appreciative Inquiry was conducted. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews and personal stories. Thirteen participants were involved, seven females and six males of varying ages; all underwent emergency surgeries including appendectomy, cholecystectomy, and small bowel obstruction surgery. Findings suggest that clear and effective communication, excellent nursing care, timely access to surgical services, continuity of care, patient safety, transfer to an Acute Care Surgical (ACS) site, communication regarding transportation, and process of admission to an ACS site play important roles in patient experiences within a consolidated ACSS.