Introduction: Several policy and cultural factors still hinder the development of ambulatory surgery (AS) in France. Our surgery unit developed a day-surgery approach with extension of a non-medicalized post-operative stay in a hotel-like structure within the hospital, called an "ambulotel". The present study aims to evaluate the potential of this approach in increasing the possibilities of ambulatory surgery by comparing our stays to those of a nationwide database.
Patients and methods: We matched 66 patients according to seven criteria in our one-day ambulotel program to the 2011 DRG national database and then compared their characteristics.
Results: Of the 10,428 patients in the database with one-night stays in a traditional surgery unit, more than half (52%) would probably have been eligible for ambulatory surgery with a potential theoretical savings estimated at €12,806,568.
Conclusion: This estimated amount of savings represents a major medical and economic issue. The savings could contribute to increased ambulatory surgery activity in France by creating new dedicated Ambulatory Units, pooling conventional beds, or using night accommodation in non-hospital nursing homes, for example.
Keywords: Day surgery; Diagnostic related groups; Medical care cost-effectiveness; One-day surgery; Patient hotel.
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