• 6/28/2016
    The length of stay for patients requiring urgent surgery at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) for acute appendicitis has reduced from 4.3 days to 2.5 days thanks to an innovative new project designed to help patients in their recovery.

    As part of the project, patients admitted with acute calculous cholecystitis (gallstones) also saw the length of stay in hospital drop from 6.5 days to 1.7 days.
    The Acute Care Surgery Length of Stay Project, targeting appendicitis and gallstone surgeries, authored by Dr Shameel Musthafa from the HGH Surgery Department was recently recognized as a winner in a poster competition held during the recent Middle East Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Doha.

    The new model was introduced into the Surgery Department by incorporating subspecialties including Acute Care Surgery (ACS) under the Chairmanship of Dr Abdulla Al-Ansari. The Acute Care Surgery team led by Dr Ahmed Zarour, cares for emergency general surgical patients and its innovative work on its Length of Stay Project has resulted in earlier treatment and a shorter length of stay.

    “The ACS team looked at how we could improve the patient’s pathway to care and for us this started with the streamlining of priority cases. This was done by an in-house consultant in the first instance,” said Dr. Musthafa. “The new approach included discharge planning for each patient at the time of admission, ensuring they have a clear pathway for their care.”

    This new approach was facilitated by the ACS Quality team (under Dr Rashad Alfkey and Dr Hisham Al-Johari) which studied a range of benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) through continuous data collection and analysis to ensure the optimum delivery of care and services by the Surgery Department.

    Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) innovative patient recovery hostel at Bayt Al Diyafah was also utilized. This facility provides a home-like environment and caters to patients with a variety of conditions who have been treated within HMC and would benefit from extra recuperation time.

    “We also looked at the coordinated scheduling of follow-up outpatient appointments as well as attendance at wound management clinics,” he said.

    The Length of Stay project team (led by Dr Musthafa and including Dr Omer Al-Yahri and Dr Ahmed Abutaka) compared historical data and found that in all, over the three months during which the pilot project ran in 2015, 1198 days of hospital stay were saved.

    “A decreased hospital length-of-stay and enhanced continuity of patient care ultimately benefits the patients as it means a faster recovery time, less risk of infection and targeted follow-up care, which will lead to a better health outcome in the long run,” said Dr. Hisham Al-Johari.