A new model to prioritize and optimize access to elective surgery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: A feasibility & pilot study.
Stefano Di Domenico,
Franco De Cian,
Posted 26 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.21.20157719
Posted 26 Jul 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic burdens non-covid elective surgical patients by reducing service capacity, forcing extreme selection of patients most in need. Our study assesses the SWALIS- 2020 model ability to prioritize access to surgery during the highest viral outbreak peaks. A 2020 March - May feasibility-pilot study tested a software-aided, inter-hospital, multidisciplinary pathway. All specialties patients in the Genoa Surgical Departments referred for urgent elective patients were prioritized by a modified Surgical Waiting List InfoSystem (SWALIS) cumulative prioritization method (PAT-2020) based on waiting time and clinical urgency, in three subcategories: A1-15 days (certain rapid disease progression), A2-21 days (probable progression), and A3-30 days (potential progression). We have studied the models applicability and its ability to prioritize patients by monitoring waiting list and service performance. https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN11384058. Following the feasibility study (N=55 patients), 240 referrals were evaluated in 4 weeks without major criticalities (M/F=73/167, Age=68.7 +/- 14.0). Waiting lists were prioritized and monitored. The SWALIS-2020 score (% of waited-against-maximum time) at operation was 88.7 +/- 45.2 at week 1 and then persistently over 100% (efficiency), over a controlled variation (equity), with a difference between A3 (153.29 +/- 103.52) vs. A1 (97.24 +/- 107.93) (p <0.001), and A3 vs. A2 (88.05 +/- 77.51) (p <0.001). 222 patients underwent surgery, without related complications or delayed/failed discharges. The pathway has selected the very few patients with the greatest need, even with +30% capacity weekly modifications, managing active and backlog waiting lists. We are looking for collaboration for multi-center research.
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