Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wait Time Guarantees Not Likely To Reduce Waits For Joint Replacement Surgery

Date:
October 31, 2008
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Significant increases in surgical capacity or diverting patients to other jurisdictions are the best ways to deal with excessive wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery -- a leading symbol of underfunding in Canada's health-care system. Politically popular strategies, such as wait time guarantees, are not likely to have much impact, according to a new study.

Significant increases in surgical capacity or diverting patients to other jurisdictions are the best ways to deal with excessive wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery – a leading symbol of underfunding in Canada's healthcare system.

Related Articles


Politically popular strategies, such as wait time guarantees, are not likely to have much impact, according to a new study. Instead, the study suggests standardized methods of patient prioritization will ensure that the most urgent patients receive surgery first. Wait-list sharing among surgeons will also help to reduce variation in wait times for patients of similar clinical urgency.

The study, "An Evaluation of Strategies to Reduce Waiting Times for Joint Replacement in Ontario," published in the November issue of Medical Care, examines the effectiveness of a number of strategies to reduce wait times for this type of surgery. It compared reducing demand for surgery and increasing the number of surgeries performed, patient prioritization, wait time guarantees and provincewide, instead of regional, wait lists.

The study is authored by Lauren Cipriano, Massachusetts General Hospital; Bert Chesworth, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario; Chris Anderson, Cornell University and Greg Zaric, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario. It uses a computer simulation model, developed by the researchers, to evaluate the strategies.

Their results show that even if 14 per cent more surgeries are provided each year (twice the historical rate), it will take almost a decade to ensure that 90 per cent of patients receive surgery within recommended wait times. A wait time guarantee for all patients shortens waits for low-priority patients, but makes high-priority patients wait longer.

"Waiting time guarantees do not, on their own, reduce waiting times. They only shuffle the order in which patients are seen, which benefits some patients at the expense of others," said Zaric, Canada Research Chair in Health Care Management Science and Associate Professor at The University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business.

"In order for the majority of patients to receive their surgery within clinically acceptable times there must either be substantial diversion to jurisdictions with excess capacity or growth in Ontario's capacity at a much higher level than has been observed historically," said Zaric.

Long waiting times for joint replacement surgery are a problem in many OECD countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). Many potential solutions have been tried but there is no consensus.

In Ontario, in 2005, the median wait time was five months for total hip replacement and eight months for total knee replacement. Demand for joint replacement surgery is likely to increase due to changing demographics, increasing rates of obesity and arthritis, and an overall increase in people's willingness to undergo surgery.

Waiting times for hip and knee replacement were identified by Canada's First Ministers as a priority area, along with cancer, heart, and sight restoration surgeries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Western Ontario. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "Wait Time Guarantees Not Likely To Reduce Waits For Joint Replacement Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031112103.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2008, October 31). Wait Time Guarantees Not Likely To Reduce Waits For Joint Replacement Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031112103.htm
University of Western Ontario. "Wait Time Guarantees Not Likely To Reduce Waits For Joint Replacement Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031112103.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins