Same Day Surgery: Arrive, change clothes, be operated

Published on February 14, 2024

With "Same Day Surgery", patients benefit from reduced waiting times and shorter hospital stays.

Since the advent of outpatient surgery, the process leading up to operations involving a hospital stay of several days has also changed. Preliminary examinations, such as blood tests or x-rays, are carried out in advance by the family doctor. The same applies to informative discussions with the anesthesia team and the surgeon. A few years ago, all this was done in hospital the day before the operation – although these examinations do not require a hospital stay. With same-day surgery, this premature entry is no longer necessary. Patients are admitted to one of the USZ’s “Same Day Surgery” wards on the day of the operation and are only transferred to the actual destination ward of the specialist area after the operation.

Processes as a decisive success factor

They are located close to the operating theaters, the two “Same Day Surgery” admission wards of the USZ. That is part of the concept. The time from admission to surgery should be kept as short as possible for patients through optimized processes. “Same-day surgery therefore shortens the hospital stay before the operation and should not be confused with outpatient treatment. “Our aim is for patients to arrive just one and a half hours before the start of surgery,” explains Susanne Blum Lord, Co-Head ad interim of the Same Day Surgery department. Making the processes as smooth as possible is the biggest challenge with “Same Day Surgery”, emphasizes Susanne Blum Lord. “Various specialist areas and professions are involved, so good coordination is required. If one specialist arrives too late, this has an impact on everyone else involved in the process. We are therefore constantly developing the process.”

Good for patients and bed occupancy

The advantages of “Same Day Surgery” for patients are obvious: spending the night before the operation in their own home is more comfortable than in a hospital bed. However, same-day surgery also has clear advantages in terms of rising healthcare costs. Because a hospital bed costs a lot. Even if the person hardly needs any care or treatment. It therefore makes sense to only occupy beds with patients who really need hospital treatment. In addition, the hospital’s bed occupancy can be optimized: “Because patients only arrive at the actual destination ward after the operation, they can, for example, be given the place of a person who left in the morning. This helps to optimize bed utilization,” says Erika Lindgren, the second Co-Head ad interim of the “Same Day Surgery” ward, explaining the principle.

Close support for patients

On the day before admission to hospital, the bed planning staff call the patients and repeat the procedure with them: Until when can they eat? What do they need to bring with them? What else needs to be considered? “These discussions give patients confidence when preparing at home. As a result, we hardly ever have any incidents that jeopardize the operation,” says Erika Lindgren, explaining the procedure.

“Same day surgery” has hardly any limits

But are there also operations where same-day surgery is not possible? “There are only a few planned operations that cannot be performed on the same day as admission to hospital. For example, if treatment is necessary before the operation that requires a stay in hospital,” explains Susanne Blum Lord. Accordingly, many can already benefit – and the trend is rising.

Same Day Surgery in pictures