Implementation of a Same-Day Discharge Protocol Following Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
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OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have demonstrated that outpatient total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH) is both safe and feasible. Our objective was to decrease length of stay for patients undergoing TLH by implementing a same-day discharge protocol at two Canadian teaching hospitals. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study assessing length of stay (primary outcome), perioperative complications, and readmission rates over a 12-month period following implementation of a same-day discharge protocol for TLH. These data were compared with pre-intervention baseline data collected retrospectively over a 12-month period immediately before protocol introduction. Our protocol consisted of patient education, instructions for perioperative care, and close follow-up. RESULTS: In the year prior to our protocol, 256 TLHs were performed. Forty-seven patients (18.3%) were discharged the same day, 191 patients (74.5%) were discharged on the first postoperative day, and 18 patients (7%) were admitted for 2 or more days. In the year following implementation, 215 patients underwent TLH of which 129 were enrolled in our study. The overall outpatient hysterectomy rate during that time period was 62% (134/215 patients). Among study participants, 102 patients (79.1%) were discharged the same day, 22 patients (17.0%) were discharged on the first postoperative day, and 5 patients (3.9%) were admitted for 2 or more days. There were no significant differences in perioperative complications or readmission rates and patient satisfaction scores were high. CONCLUSION: Implementation of a same-day discharge protocol successfully increased the rate of outpatient TLH without impacting patient safety. This protocol was acceptable to both surgeons and patients and can be easily adapted for use at other centres.
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