Quality of Care for Gallstone Pancreatitis-the Impact of the Acute Care Surgery Model and Hospital-Level Operative Resources

J Gastrointest Surg. 2022 Apr;26(4):849-860. doi: 10.1007/s11605-021-05145-4. Epub 2021 Nov 16.


Background: Index cholecystectomy is the standard of care for gallstone pancreatitis. Hospital-level operative resources and implementation of an acute care surgery (ACS) model may impact the ability to perform index cholecystectomy. We aimed to determine the influence of structure and process measures related to operating room access on achieving index cholecystectomy for gallstone pancreatitis.

Methods: In 2015, we surveyed 2811 US hospitals on ACS practices, including infrastructure for operative access. A total of 1690 hospitals (60%) responded. We anonymously linked survey data to 2015 State Inpatient Databases from 17 states using American Hospital Association identifiers. We identified patients ≥ 18 years who were admitted with gallstone pancreatitis. Patients transferred from another facility were excluded. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses, clustered by hospital and adjusted for patient factors, were performed to examine multiple structure and process variables related to achieving an index cholecystectomy rate of ≥ 75% (high performers).

Results: Over the study period, 5656 patients were admitted with gallstone pancreatitis and 70% had an index cholecystectomy. High-performing hospitals achieved an index cholecystectomy rate of 84.1% compared to 58.5% at low-performing hospitals. On multivariable regression analysis, only teaching vs. non-teaching hospital (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.11-7.70) and access to dedicated, daytime operative resources (i.e., block time) vs. no/little access (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.11-3.37) were associated with high-performing hospitals.

Conclusions: Access to dedicated, daytime operative resources is associated with high quality of care for gallstone pancreatitis. Health systems should consider the addition of dedicated, daytime operative resources for acute care surgery service lines to improve patient care.

Keywords: Acute care surgery; Gallstone pancreatitis; Health services research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy
  • Gallstones* / complications
  • Gallstones* / surgery
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Pancreatitis* / complications
  • Pancreatitis* / surgery
  • Quality of Health Care