Unplanned Return to the Operation Theatre Hospital Quality Indicator. Search the best hospital.

Unplanned return to the operation theatre is basically considered as an incident where a secondary procedure is performed on a patient to treat the complications caused during the previous surgery. It is an important quality indicator that reflects on the quality care that a healthcare center offers its patients.

Reasons For Unplanned Returns to the OT

Some of the primary causes leading to post-surgical treatment procedures are:
  • Surgical Site Infections
  • Dislocation of implant
  • Hemorrhagic complications (excessive bleeding)
  • Defective or poor treatment of the wound
  • Complications due to co-morbid diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  • Mechanical complications during the main surgery

What are hospitals doing to mitigate post-surgery complications?

Unplanned return to OT primarily depends on the expertise and quality services provided by a healthcare center. Therefore to ensure quality care, hospitals take the following measures in order to avoid those second trip to the OT:-
  • Healthcare providers and medical staff follow aseptic techniques to mitigate the chances of any infections during surgery.
  • Comorbid diseases can complicate the surgery, therefore the medical staff thoroughly assesses the patients who are suffering from the same, in order to create special care plans depending on their health condition.
  • Healthcare providers implement preventive measures that are in compliance with the medical industry guidelines.
  • Medical practitioners create different prevention plans for high-risk patients (for e.g., they ensure that diabetic patients must maintain an appropriate blood glucose level of 140 mg/dl prior to the surgery).
  • Healthcare centers ensure that the required tools and equipment are available at the center to effectively deal with any occurrence of surgical complications.
  • Healthcare centers educate and train their medical staff with regards to organization’s pre-operative, operative, and post-operative management policies, procedures, and protocols.
  • Healthcare centers constantly collect and evaluate data to identify new opportunities for improving the quality of their services.

What measures can patients take to avoid unplanned returns to OT?

Along with healthcare centers, patients too can take necessary precautions to mitigate the chances of a successful surgery. Following are the steps patients must take before and after the surgery to eliminate the chances of post-surgery complications:-
  • Patients must explicitly inform their healthcare providers about any diseases that they are suffering from, or medications that they are currently consuming.
  • Prior to the surgery, patients must gather all the information from the doctors, with regards to the complications associated with the surgery.
  • Patients who smoke are more vulnerable to infections. Therefore, before the surgery, patients with the assistance of doctors must take necessary measures to quit or at least, avoid (prior to the surgery) smoking.
  • Family relatives and friends of patients must follow proper hygiene practice while visiting to avoid the risk of transmitting any infection.
  • If patients experience any symptoms of an infection such as redness, pain at the surgical site, fever, etc. they must immediately inform their doctors.

Mitigating Post-Surgical Complications the Right Way

Unplanned return to the operating room within 30 days post the initial operation can be a useful indicator of quality care, as it directly reflects the issues associated with the procedure itself. Unplanned returns occur across a wide spectrum of general surgical procedures and carry significant complications. Healthcare centers need to imply stringent processes and procedures in order to avoid any post-surgical complications. Additionally, medical centers must constantly research to identify new opportunities and implement effective plans to improve the quality of their existing services and build a reliable healthcare system.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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