The impact of surgical day care on hospital inpatient utilization in a paediatric population

Jyrki A. I. Elo
Day care surgical services have been marketed as a cost saving alternative for inpatient care. There is evidence that the cost per episode of day care surgery is 50-70 percent less than a comparable episode in an inpatient ward. In addition, avoiding hospitalization has particular relevance for paediatrics, because of the undesirable effects of hospital stay on children. However, both cost savings and the quality-based need to decrease hospitalizations of children will be fullfilled only if
more » ... patient cared for in a day care surgery unit would otherwise have been an inpatient and the bed vacated by day care surgery use would not be filled in by other patients. In a previous B.C. study based on the total population a significant component of day care surgery was found to augment total utilization, suggesting generation of surgical activity rather than substitution. The present study was designed to examine the substitution/generation issue in the paediatric (0-14 years) population, both because experts questioned the generalizability of the findings to the paediatric population, and because of the dramatic reduction in paediatric utilization in Canada during the period since the mid-1960s. The contention was that the introduction of day care surgery may have been an important factor in this downtrend. The relationship between paediatric day care surgery use and hospital inpatient utilization was analyzed in B.C. in each of the years 1968-1976 and 1981/82-1982/83 and using a time series/cross-section study design. The data frame consisted of all B.C. school districts, in each of the study years, yielding 825 data points. Using a multivariate regression analysis, it was possible to estimate what hospital utilization patterns would have been in the absence of day care surgery capacity, and hence isolate estimates of the net impact of day care surgery on paediatric inpatient use. Findings on the relationship between day care surgery use and paediatric medical/surgical and surgical inpatient utilization strongly s [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0097633 fatcat:zbtdxhw7wrgwznllev64glptxy