21 de jul. 2014

International Day Surgery activity: how many doctors are interested in looking that?

OECD Health Statistics 2014 (the new name of the online database OECD Health Data) offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems.

One interesting area to compare is the surgical procedures, specially the variations between countries using day surgery. OECD compares data from 1990 until now of a short list of surgical procedures like cataract, tonsillectomy, repair of inguinal hernia or cholescystectomy... showing the total number of procedures performed as inpatient cases, day cases or in certain instances, as outpatient cases. Also as a percentage and per 100.000 population

Some questions a doctor observing data should ask himself:
  • Why our country is different from countries like us?
  • Why are we doing less/more day surgery than others?
  • Are these variations reflecting innapropiate use of inpatien rates?
  • Are we under-use some recommended practice?
  • Are the incentives payment affect our surgical decisions?
  • Is the property of hospital affecting? public vs private hospital
  • Is an organizational matter? how the hospital is organized
  • Is a problem of my department?
Related Publications: OECD 2012. How many surgical procedures performed as inpatient and day cases

Definition: Day surgery.
  • Day-care discharge: Is the release of a patient who was formally admitted in a hospital for receiving planned medical and paramedical services, and who was discharged on the same day.
  • Outpatient: Procedures on patients who are not formally admitted in hospital or in any other health care facility: 1) Procedures performed in outpatient departments in hospitals;: 2) Procedures performed in emergency departments; 3) Procedures performed outside hospitals (ambulatory sector).
Photo: W. Eugene Smith—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Dr. Ernest Ceriani makes a house call on foot, Kremmling, Colo., 1948.