UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Variation in surgical demand and time to hip fracture repair: a Canadian database study Sheehan, Katie J; Sobolev, Boris; Guy, Pierre; Kim, Jason D.; Kuramoto, Lisa; Beaupre, Lauren; Levy, Adrian R.; Morin, Suzanne N.; Sutherland, Jason M.; Harvey, Edward J.


Background: Competing demands for operative resources may affect time to hip fracture surgery. We sought to determine the time to hip fracture surgery by variation in demand in Canadian hospitals. Methods: We obtained discharge abstracts of 151,952 patients aged 65 years or older who underwent surgery for a hip fracture between January, 2004 and December, 2012 in nine Canadian provinces. We compared median time to surgery (in days) when demand could be met within a two-day benchmark and when demand required more days, i.e. clearance time, to provide surgery, overall and stratified by presence of medical reasons for delay. Results: For persons admitted when demand corresponded to a 2-day clearance time, 68% of patients underwent surgery within the 2-day benchmark. When demand corresponded to a clearance time of one week, 51% of patients underwent surgery within 2 days. Compared to demand that could be served within the two-day benchmark, adjusted median time to surgery was 5.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.1–6.1), 12.2% (95% CI 10.3–14.2), and 22.0% (95% CI 17.7–26.2) longer, when demand required 4, 6, and 7 or more days to clear the backlog, respectively. After adjustment, delays in median time to surgery were similar for those with and without medical reasons for delay. Conclusion: Increases in demand for operative resources were associated with dose-response increases in the time needed for half of hip fracture patients to undergo surgery. Such delays may be mitigated through better anticipation of day-to-day supply and demand and increased response capability.

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