Fewer sufferers despatched to hospital rehabilitation amenities after colorectal operations early within the COVID pandemic

Fewer sufferers despatched to hospital rehabilitation amenities after colorectal operations throughout COVID pandemic yr 2020. Credit score: American Faculty of Surgeons

The primary months of the COVID pandemic had a profound impact on hospital discharge practices and use patterns for sufferers with colorectal illness, in response to findings introduced on the Scientific Discussion board of the American Faculty of Surgeons (ACS) Scientific Congress 2022. A examine of greater than 100,000 surgical sufferers who underwent procedures for colorectal most cancers discovered that that they had 40% decrease odds of being discharged to post-hospital rehabilitation in the course of the pandemic than earlier than.

Regardless of this considerably decrease charge, the hospital readmission charge didn’t change from pre-pandemic ranges, mentioned Marc Mankarious, MD, a surgical resident at Penn State Hershey Medical Middle, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“We discovered that discharge to a rehabilitation facility pre-pandemic was 10%, which agreed with earlier literature, however as soon as the pandemic hit, the discharge-to-rehabilitation charge dropped to about 7%,” Dr. Mankarious mentioned. “We noticed a drop of three proportion factors, despite the fact that we have been doing extra emergent operations and extra open operations, that are typical threat components for requiring rehabilitation after surgical procedure.”

The authors hypothesized that anecdotally, worry of going into confined areas, workers and provide shortages, and illness outbreaks contributed to modifications in discharge practices.

In regards to the examine

The retrospective cohort examine used two databases from the American Faculty of Surgeons Nationwide Surgical High quality Enchancment Program (ACS NSQIP): the Participant Use File and Goal Colectomy databases. Researchers analyzed knowledge on 116,677 sufferers: 90,250 from 2017 by way of 2019, and 26,427 from 2020. For comparability, the primary quarter was excluded from all years as a result of the primary COVID restrictions didn’t go into impact till March 2020. ACS NSQIP is the main nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and enhance the standard of surgical care in hospitals. It was created by surgeons to assist hospitals gauge the standard of their surgical applications and enhance surgical outcomes by gathering strong, correct, and exact medical affected person data.

Key findings

  • In evaluating the pre- and post-COVID-19 intervals, the proportion of emergent circumstances and open operations—versus minimally invasive procedures—elevated in 2020, from 13 to fifteen% (p
  • A multivariable evaluation discovered that sufferers in 2020 had 40% decrease odds of going to a post-discharge facility (odds ratio 0.62, p
  • The charges of sufferers going again to the hospital inside 30 days of discharge was 10% in each intervals (p=0.4).






Fewer colorectal most cancers surgical sufferers despatched to hospital rehabilitation early in COVID. Credit score: American Faculty of Surgeons

Surgeons’ observations

The soundness in hospital readmission charges was telling as a result of that could be “one of many components that goes into deciding whether or not to supply a rehabilitation keep to a affected person,” Dr. Mankarious mentioned.

The examine knowledge didn’t embody the reason why sufferers did or didn’t select to go to post-discharge rehabilitation to recuperate; the authors hypothesized that components included restricted availability of beds and affected person issues about customer restrictions and contracting COVID-19 Dr. Mankarious mentioned. However the pandemic noticed a 63-fold enhance in telehealth use in 2020 over 2019.* “This case might have made sufferers and physicians extra snug with the affected person going residence and following up with one another electronically,” he mentioned.

The information included some data on medical causes for going to rehabilitation. “We did discover that sufferers that went to rehabilitation in 2020 have been extra functionally dependent or functionally impaired than sufferers that went to rehabilitation in earlier years, so these components can also play an element in it.” Dr. Mankarious mentioned.

The examine grew out of what surgeons at Penn State Hershey have been observing within the early days of the pandemic, mentioned senior creator Audrey Kulayat, MD, assistant professor of colorectal surgical procedure. “We questioned if these observations had an influence on an even bigger scale different than simply at our establishment,” she mentioned. “However then we needed to know, what is the draw back? Was there a draw back? Are sufferers getting readmitted extra continuously on account of going again to their residence or no matter establishment versus going to a spot with the next degree of nursing care? We did not discover that they have been readmitted extra typically.”

Potential change in discharge observe

The examine findings elevate questions concerning the potential overuse of posthospital rehabilitation for colorectal sufferers, Dr. Mankarious mentioned. “Medicare spends about $60 billion per yr on sufferers going to post-acute care amenities or rehab basically and any small reductions, even our 3% discount, which was important, might end in appreciable value financial savings for the healthcare system.

“And it actually helps us rethink who ought to go to post-surgery rehab, possibly elevate our thresholds as we grow to be extra snug sending sufferers residence and have higher utilization of the brand new accessible modalities to assist us observe up with them with out having to ship them to rehab,” Dr. Mankarious added.


Operations for diverticulitis decreased in 2020, however the diploma of illness severity elevated


Extra data:
Mankarious MM, et al. Altering Disposition Patterns of Colorectal Surgical procedure Sufferers within the Period of COVID-19. Scientific Discussion board Presentation, American Faculty of Surgeons Scientific Congress 2022.

Supplied by
American Faculty of Surgeons


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Fewer sufferers despatched to hospital rehabilitation amenities after colorectal operations early within the COVID pandemic (2022, October 16)
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