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Authors Vrabec S, Oltmann SC, Clark N, Chen H, Sippel RS
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Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 184 Issue: 1 Pages: 204-8
Publish Date 2013 Sep
PubMed ID 23688791
PMC ID 3759551

Patients traditionally recover overnight on a general surgery ward after a thyroidectomy; however, these units often lack the efficiency and focus for rapid discharge, which is the goal of a short-stay (SS) unit. Using an SS unit for thyroidectomy patients, who are often discharged in <24 h, may reduce the duration of hospital stay and subsequently decrease associated costs and increase hospital bed and resource availability.A retrospective review of 400 patients undergoing thyroidectomy at a single academic hospital. We analyzed postoperative discharge information and hospital cost data. Adult patients who stayed a single night in the hospital were included. We compared patients staying on a designated SS unit versus a general surgery (GS) ward.A total of 223 patients were admitted to SS, and 177 to GS. Trends of admission location were blocked based on time period, with most patients per time period going to the same location. Discharge times were significantly quicker for patients admitted to SS (P < 0.001). A total of 70% of SS patients were discharged before noon, versus 40% of GS patients (P < 0.001). Many variances were identified to account for these differences. Direct costs were significantly lower with SS, owing to savings in pharmacy, recovery room, and nursing expenses (all P < 0.01).A designated short-stay hospital unit is an effective model for increasing the efficiency of discharge for thyroidectomy patients compared with those admitted to a general surgery ward. It also serves to increase bed availability, which decreases hospital cost and may improve patient flow.

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