Effects of a clinical pathway 3 years after implementation in breast surgery
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The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of the implementation of clinical pathways into routine practice of breast surgery.
Materials and methods
We implemented a clinical pathway for breast surgery in 2006 and analysed for the following 3 years its path in respect to hospital stay, total costs per case, readmission rate, and patients’ satisfaction.
The mean hospital stay decreased significantly from 4.5 days in 2006 to 3.7 days in 2007 and revealed 3.4 days in 2008. This is a decrease by 24.4% for the duration of hospital stay. The total cost per case between 2006 and 2007 showed a significant decrease of 23.4%. The total costs increased by 13.4% in 2008. Readmission rate was under 5% and remained constant. Patients’ satisfaction remained constant, whereby more than 90% of the expected good results were attained.
There is substantial evidence that clinical pathways lead to various improvements in clinical care in surgery. We show a constantly significant effect on duration of hospital stay without any increase in the number of readmissions. In our view, it is not only an economic benefit which prevails here, but also especially a transparency of treatment which leads to higher compliance, better outcome and a shorter length of stay.
KeywordsClinical pathway Breast surgery Quality of care Economic effects Treatment standards
Conflict of interest
- 10.Delaney CP, Zutshi M, Senagore AJ et al (2003) Prospective, randomized controlled trial between a pathway of controlled rehabilitation with early ambulation and diet and traditional postoperative care after laparotomy and intestinal resection. Dis Colon Rectum 46(7):851–859PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar