Cancellations on the day of surgery cause a heavy burden for patients and pose a significant setback to healthcare systems. Just like for inpatient care, the cancellations in ambulatory surgery also contribute negatively for patients and healthcare systems. The literature is, however, quite scarce concerning the parameters that are associated with missing a surgery in the ambulatory setting. Some of these cancellations are due to patient factors and frequently limit the enrolment of a new patient due to logistic and clinical constraints. Available surgical periods are thus lost.
We carried out a preliminary study at our hospital. We analysed a total of 19781 patients enrolled for elective day-case surgery in 2018, from which 1253 (6.33%) made a cancellation on their intended day of surgery (due to patient factors, the most prevalent being ‘change in patient status’ (33.04%; n = 414), ‘missing surgery with a plausible reason’ (28.01%; n = 351) and ‘missing surgery without a plausible reason’ (20.67%; n = 259). These numbers are in agreement with data from the literature.
Full Letter to the Editor available here.