A model-based evaluation of the Canberra Hospital Acute Care Surgical Unit
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose Surgical services in Australia are under sustained and growing pressure. The global implementation of acute care surgery services has been shown to facilitate the timeliness of acute surgery. The question is: Do acute care surgical units fit major regional centers like ours? The current study coincides with the introduction of a Surgical Assessment and Planning Unit (SAPU) at the Canberra Hospital and compares patient outcomes before vs. after the introduction of the SAPU, using acute appendicitis as the model illness. Methods We reviewed patients presenting to the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department with a preliminary diagnosis of acute appendicitis before vs. after the introduction of an acute care surgical unit. Results The subjects were 150 patients, ranging in age from 16 to 97 years. The mean time from presentation at casualty to surgical review and the surgical review itself was reduced by 19 and 26 %, respectively (p < 0.05). Time to the operating table and the percentage of after-hours operations were reduced by 8 and 40 %, respectively. There was a significant reduction in the utilization of abdominal ultrasonography after the implementation of the SAPU. Conclusions The implementation of a SAPU has benefited the management of patients with acute surgical conditions. Ultimately, patient care is enhanced, with patients being reviewed, admitted, and treated earlier.
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified