A Cost-Minimization Analysis of Day-Care Versus in-Patient Surgery for Five Most Common General Surgical Procedures

Ali Aboutorabi, Maryam Ghiasipour, Aziz Rezapour, Farbod Ebadifard Azar, Negar Yousefzadeh, Morteza Hosseini Shokuh, Hassan Haghparast-Bidgoli


Objective: This study aimed to compare costs of Day-care versus in-patient surgery for five most common general surgical procedures in a general hospital in Iran.

Methods: In this retrospective study the records of all patients who underwent five most common general surgical operations (including Hernia, Hemorrhoid, Fistula, Pilonidal Sinus and Varicocele) between March 2011 and March 2013 were reviewed. The data about costs of these procedures was collected by a checklist, designed by the authors, one year before and one year after establishing the Day-Care ward in the hospital. The checklist was designed on the basis of 14 financial items related to surgical patients. All costs were measured from the provider’s perspective.

Results: The results of this study showed that after implementing day-care surgery ward, inpatient care costs, such as medicine/drugs, physician visits, medical consumable, personnel and hotel, reduced significantly per each procedure. However, the costs directly associated with each surgery, such as drugs and consumable, surgeon’s wage and anesthesia costs, between these two periods was not significantly different. The highest amount of savings was related to the personnel costs, with 997,000 IRR reductions. On average, total cost of each procedure was reduced by 2,031,358 IRR after implementation of day-care ward.

Conclusion: The findings from this study demonstrate that day-care surgery is a cost saving method compared to in-patient surgery for five most common general surgical procedures. It is recommended that hospital managers consider establishing day-care ward and conducting surgical procedures, in particular elective general surgical procedures, in this regimen, to decrease hospital costs and to make hospital beds free, for other patients who are more in need of specialized medical and nursing skills.


Key words: Day-Care Surgery, Inpatient Surgery, Cost-saving, Cost-Minimization, Cost Analysis

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