10.03.2017 | Original Contributions | Ausgabe 8/2017
Preventing Returns to the Emergency Department FollowingBariatric Surgery
- Jennwood Chen, Justin Mackenzie, Yan Zhai, James O’Loughlin, Rebecca Kholer, Ellen Morrow, Robert Glasgow, Eric Volckmann, Anna Ibele
Unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits following bariatric surgery represent a significant source of inefficient resource utilization. This study aimed to identify potential strategies aimed at preventing unnecessary returns to the ED following bariatric surgery. The study was conducted in University Hospital, USA.
The electronic medical records of all patients who underwent bariatric surgery at our institution between January 2011 and October 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Information regarding procedure, gender, age, preoperative BMI, obesity-related comorbid conditions, postoperative length of stay (LOS), and reasons for ED visits within 90 days of surgery were obtained. Six practitioners (four attending surgeons, one resident physician, and one physician assistant) independently reviewed patient chief complaint and clinical findings at the time of ED returns. Reasons for ED return were scored as either preventable or non-preventable. “Preventable” denoted that an ED return could potentially be avoided by means of a system change in our bariatric practice.
Our institution performed 361 bariatric procedures during the study period. Of these, 65 patients had 91 ED visits, 23 of which resulted in readmissions, and two of which required operative interventions. The ≤90-day all-cause postoperative ED visit rate was 18% (n = 65). Of the 91 ED visits, 47% were deemed preventable (n = 43). The most common preventable reasons for ED returns were nausea, vomiting, dehydration (NVD) (27.9%), postoperative pain (25.6%), wound evaluations (20.9%), and compliance issues (14%).
Postoperative ED visits following bariatric surgery are prevalent and costly. Many of these visits are potentially preventable. Implementing outpatient strategies to address these causes will likely attenuate inefficient resource utilization.