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Introduction of an abscess pathway: It’s impact on the timing of the operation and bed occupancy


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Introduction of Abscess pathway: Its impact on timing of operation and bed occupancy

Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the impact of abscess pathway introduction on patients admitted for day case surgery of superficial abscesses.

Methods: A six-month period in 2017 matching exactly the period in 2016 when the initial audit was done was chosen.  We compared the results of the initial audit with the abscess pathway using the same parameters i.e. length of stay (LOS), time to theatre and discharge and overnight stay pending and post-surgery.   

Results: 56/70 (80%) of abscess pathway group had their procedure on the same day compared to 36/77 (47%) in the first audit with 43/70 (61%) of the abscess pathway having overnight leave, compared to 6/77 (8%) in the first audit. 20/70 (28.6%) stayed in hospital post operatively compared with 42/77 (54.5%) in the first audit. The average LOS, time between admission and theatre, and time between theatre and discharge were less in the abscess pathway (compared to the first audit): 7 hours 19 minutes (43 hours 55 minutes); 6 hours 53 minutes (19 hours 42 minutes) and 7 hours 15 minutes (24 hours 23 minutes). 60% (42/70) of abscess pathway group had their surgery before noon compared to 19.4% (15/77) in initial audit. The improvement in day leave and same-day discharge is cost effective, saving £17,700 (59x300) in bed costs compared to 2016. 14/70 (20%) and 41/77 (53.2%) of abscess-pathway and first audit groups respectively stayed in hospital awaiting surgery.

Conclusion: Abscess pathway introduction  reduces bed occupancy, length of stay and saves cost.



Abdu Opaluwa 1 Presenting

Hesham El-Hakim 1

Syed Hyder 1


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