Intervention: Implementing a process redesign to streamline clinical pathways for elective surgery, with a focus on the patient journey from referral to discharge, and establishing a separate, dedicated elective surgery facility.
Main outcome measures: Numbers of patients waiting beyond national recommended waiting times for elective surgery; hospital-initiated postponement (HIP) rates for elective surgery; and lengths of stay (LOS), both combined and for specific diagnostic-related groups.
Results: The clinical process redesign resulted in a sustained downward trend in the number of elective surgery patients waiting longer than national recommended maximum waiting times. HIP rates were reduced to 1% in the dedicated elective surgery facility, and there was a significant reduction in the combined LOS, as well as the LOS for the most common surgical procedures (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Clinical process redesign of perioperative services and collocation of a separate elective surgery centre improved (i) timeliness of care for elective surgery patients and (ii) key indicators (LOS and HIP rates) for planned elective admissions.
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