Journal Article
Study

Factors associated with hospital admission after outpatient surgery in the Veterans Health Administration.

Mull HJ; Rosen AK; O'Brien WJ; McIntosh N; Legler A; Hawn MT; Itani KMF; Pizer SD.

The Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) and the private sector National Surgical Quality Improvement Program have transformed both safety measurement and quality in surgery. Historically, VASQIP has placed comparatively little emphasis on outpatient surgical safety. This study examined trends in hospital admission within 7 days of all outpatient surgeries performed among veterans age 65 and older in the United States. Researchers found that 16% of these procedures were associated with 7-day admission, higher than what has been observed in younger, healthier patients. Common reasons for admission included surgical, medical, or device complications and inability to secure safe aftercare at home. The authors posit that, while not every admission represents a preventable adverse event, measurement is a critical step toward improving outpatient surgical safety. A recent PSNet interview and perspective explored the evolution of surgical patient safety.