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Shift from Impatient to Outpatient Urologic Surgeries Increases Mortality Rates

In recent years, doctors have shifted urologic surgeries from inpatient to outpatient.  Urologic surgeries involve operations on the male or female urinary tract, female pelvic floor and the male reproductive system.  Urologists handle surgeries from cancerous tumor removal, renal stones, and male infertility.  Although most urologic surgeries were performed inpatient in the past, there has been a movement towards outpatient surgeries to cut costs and save patients time.  However, recent studies suggest that there may be danger to doing this.

Henry Ford Study Finds “Failure to Rescue” Cases Rose in Face of Increased Outpatient Surgeries

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital looked at patient records between 1998 and 2010 discharged following a urologic surgery.  Overall, they found that the “failure to rescue” mortality rates of patients increased after the implementation of outpatient urologic surgeries while the overall mortality rate stayed the same.  Failure to Rescue or FTR is a quality measurement implemented after the publication of “To Err is Human”, a report produced in 1999 pointing out important concerns about patient safety in American hospitals.  FTRs occur when medical professionals fail to identify key problems and take necessary actions to prevent a patient’s death.  The recent study points out the need for doctors to follow up with patients closely, even if they are immediately let out of the hospital following their surgical procedure.

Minorities, Elderly, Publicly Insured, and Previously Ill at Increased Risk of Death After Urologic Surgery

In addition to the overall findings of the study, the researchers also found that those from minority communities, as well as the elderly, publicly insured, and those suffering from other illnesses were at an increased risk of dying following an outpatient urologic surgery and the detection of complications.  The study authors emphasize how important it is for medical professionals to identify potential complications in patients prior to the exit from the hospital and to provide continuing care following the procedure.

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