The goal of this study was to evaluate hospital stays for patients operated on with primary total hip- and knee-arthroplasty (THA and TKA) in order to identify important logistical and clinical areas for the duration of the hospital stay.
According to the National Register on Patients, the three departments with the shortest and the three departments with the longest postoperative hospital stay at the end of 2003 were chosen for evaluation. This took place from late 2004 to mid 2005, and all written material and 25 journals from each department were evaluated, and interviews with the heads of the departments as well as the staff were conducted. The logistical set-up and the clinical treatment/pathway were examined in an attempt to identify logistical and clinical factors acting as improvements or barriers for quick rehabilitation and subsequent discharge.
Departments with short hospital stay were characterised by both logistical (homogenous entities, regular staff, high continuity, using more time on and up-to-date information including expectations of a short stay, functional discharge criteria) and clinical features (multi-modal pain treatment, early mobilization and discharge when criteria were met) facilitating quick rehabilitation and discharge.
Implementation of logistical and clinical features, as shown in this study in all departments, are expected to increase rehabilitation and reduce the length of hospital stay.
The goal of this study was to evaluate hospital stays for patients operated on with primary total hip- and knee-arthroplasty (THA and TKA) in Denmark in order to focus on the relationship between duration of hospital stay, surgical volume, morbidity and mortality and resources.
According to the National Register on Patients in 2004 concerning postoperative length of hospital stay, readmissions (30 days) and mortality (30 and 90 days), departments with short and long hospital stay were compared and potential economical savings were estimated if all departments reduced their stays to match the departments with the shortest hospital stay.
Postoperative hospital stay varied between departments from 4.5 to 12 days. Two-thirds of the departments had stays of more than seven days. A high surgical volume tended to correlate with short hospital stay and reduced mortality. A nation-wide reduction of hospital stay after THA and TKA to five days would free 28,000 hospital beds and produce economic savings of approx. 13 million Euro.
Nation-wide implementation of fast-track THA and TKA would result in a significant decrease in the needed number of hospital beds and generate economic savings with similar or better outcome.
Treatment of hip fractures has evolved since the introduction of fast-track surgical programs in the late 1990s. The aim of our study was to describe the quality of treatment and care related to fast-track hip fracture surgery in Denmark by external audit of patient records.
This was a national multicenter audit of hospital charts from each hospital treating = 50 hip fracture patients per year (n = 594).
The study demonstrated significant variability in treatment and care of patients with hip fractures among the regions of Denmark. Pain management, nutritional screening, ambulation characteristics, training in activities of daily living, and rehabilitation planning were consistently inadequate. Length of stay was 7-11 days.
Although the principles for fast-track surgery have been adapted to some extent at all departments in Denmark with an annual treatment of at least 50 patients with hip fractures, no single department has implemented the whole package. Hospital stay has been reduced since the introduction of fast-track regimes, and improvements were seen in many of the quality indicators. Implications for future practice include better adherence to clinical guidelines, a more homogeneous documentation system in nursing, promotion of evidence-based standards, and improved treatment and care of the physical and psychological consequences of hospitalization.
Considerable variations in procedures, hospital stay and rates of recovery have been recorded within specific surgical procedures at Danish hospitals. The aim of this paper is to report on a national initiative in Denmark to improve the quality of surgical care by implementation of clinical guidelines based on the principles of fast-track surgery-i.e. patient information, surgical stress reduction, effective analgesia, early mobilisation and rapid return to normal eating. Fast-track surgery was introduced systematically in Denmark by the establishment of the Unit of Perioperative Nursing (UPN) in 2004. The unit was responsible for guideline construction and implementation using the 'workshop practice method': establishing a website, creating a knowledge centre, coordinating implementation agents, and arranging national workshops and conferences. The UPN has promoted implementation of fast-track regimes in all surgical departments in Denmark. We recommend the workshop-practice method for implementation of new procedures in other areas of patient care.