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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-10102

Müller, M K; Dedes, K J; Dindo, D; Steiner, S; Hahnloser, D; Clavien, P A (2009). Impact of clinical pathways in surgery. Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery, 394(1):31-39.

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BACKGROUND: One strategy to reduce the consumption of resources associated to specific procedures is to utilize clinical pathways, in which surgical care is standardized and preset by determination of perioperative in-hospital processes. The aim of this prospective study was to establish the impact of clinical pathways on costs, complication rates, and nursing activities. METHOD: Data was prospectively collected for 171 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (n = 50), open herniorrhaphy (n = 56), and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (n = 65). RESULTS: Clinical pathways reduced the postoperative hospital stay by 28% from a mean of 6.1 to 4.4 days (p < 0.001), while the 30-day readmission rate remained unchanged (0.5% vs. 0.45%). Total mean costs per case were reduced by 25% from <euro> 6,390 to <euro> 4,800 (p < 0.001). Costs for diagnostic tests were reduced by 33% (p < 0.001). Nursing hours decreased, reducing nursing costs by 24% from <euro> 1,810 to <euro> 1,374 (p < 0.001). A trend was noted for lower postoperative complication rates in the clinical pathway group (7% vs. 14%, p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates clinically and economically relevant benefits for the utilization of clinical pathways with a reduction in use of all resource types, without any negative impact on the rate of complications or re-hospitalization.


24 citations in Web of Science®
32 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Gynecology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:January 2009
Deposited On:31 Mar 2009 12:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:49
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00423-008-0352-0
PubMed ID:18521624

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