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A Defined Esophagectomy Perioperative Clinical Care Process Can Improve Outcomes and Costs

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Esophagectomy (EG) is a high-risk therapy for esophageal cancer and end-stage benign disease. This study compares the results of EG before and after implementation of a perioperative clinical care process including a health provider education program (EP) and institutional uncomplicated postoperative clinical pathway (POP) for purpose quality improvement. This is a single institution retrospective cohort study. The EP was provided to critical care and telemetry unit nurses and the POP was imbedded in the electronic health record. Patients undergoing elective EG with reconstruction with the stomach for benign disease or cancer were included from 2005 to 2011. Cohorts were pre- and postimplementation (PreI and PostI) of an EP and 8-day POP (August 2008). Patient, tumor and peri/postoperative-specific variables were compared between cohorts, as well as resource utilization and hospital costs. We identified 33 PreI and 41 PostI patients. Both cohorts had similar patient demographics, preoperative comorbidities, majority cancer diagnosis, and for cancer patients, majority adenocarcinoma and IIB/III pathologic stage. Both groups had one death and similar rate of discharge to home. The PostI cohort demonstrated reduced 30-day readmission rate (2.4% vs 24.2%); P < 0.05. In regard to clinical outcomes, the PostI group exhibited reduced deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary emboli (2.4% vs 18.2%); P < 0.05. The PostI group demonstrated significantly reduced radiographic test utilization and costs, as well as total overall 30-day readmission costs. A defined perioperative clinical process involving educating the patient care team and implementing a widely disseminated POP can reduce complications, 30-day readmission rates, and hospital costs after EG.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section of General Thoracic Surgery, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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