Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Major Disasters Tax Surgical Staff But May Reduce Costs For Routine Operations

Date:
September 28, 2009
Source:
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Summary:
New research offers important insights into the long-term impact of a major disaster on routine surgical services in a hospital. In the study, researchers showed that although Hurricane Katrina resulted in a significant loss of surgical staff and an increase in the number of uninsured patients undergoing operations, greater cost efficiencies were achieved.

New research published in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons offers important insights into the long-term impact of a major disaster on routine surgical services in a hospital. In the study, researchers at Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA, showed that although Hurricane Katrina resulted in a significant loss of surgical staff and an increase in the number of uninsured patients undergoing operations, greater cost efficiencies were achieved.

Related Articles


Hurricane Katrina forced 11 major hospitals in the New Orleans metropolitan area to close. Ochsner Health System was one of the three hospitals that remained functional during the storm. The ripple effects of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, continue to be experienced today in the hospitals currently serving the area.

"Hurricane Katrina placed enormous burdens on our institution but forced us to learn how to run an operating room with fewer full-time employees, which required staff to cover and share more duties," said William S. Richardson, MD, FACS, department of surgery, Ochsner Health System. "While geographic location is a major determinant of post-disaster success, a sound disaster preparedness plan and the ability to adapt quickly can allow a hospital to function effectively during and after circumstances as extreme as Hurricane Katrina."

Using a prospectively collected database, researchers compared patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) – surgical removal of the gallbladder through a tiny incision in the abdomen – before and after Hurricane Katrina at Ochsner Health System. Because there was little operative activity due to low population in the area initially after the storm, researchers compared patients undergoing LC during the seven months preceding the storm with patients undergoing LC in the seven months after the first three months post-storm, when operative volume was closer to pre-storm level. The researchers said that the establishment of clear lines of communication to displaced employees and providing transportation and housing for evacuated employees were key factors to achieving pre-storm levels of operative volume in a relatively short period of time.

Total cases included 196 pre-storm and 167 post-storm outpatient operations and 62 pre-storm and 64 post-storm inpatient operations. The study did not find a significant change in operative time, length-of-stay or turnover time, despite staffing difficulties in the operative area. The percentage of inpatient cases increased from 39 percent pre-storm to 45 percent post-storm. Post-storm costs decreased for both inpatient and outpatient operations, largely because the hospital was required to perform procedures with fewer staff. Revenue was down for inpatient operations and up slightly for outpatient operations. The change in profit was not significant.

There was a decrease in the number of privately insured patients, with a concomitant increase in Medicare, Medicaid, and noninsured patients for both inpatient and outpatient operations. The largest shift in payer mix was observed in the inpatient group. Reimbursement decreased from 43.7 percent to 41.1 percent.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weber Shandwick Worldwide. "Major Disasters Tax Surgical Staff But May Reduce Costs For Routine Operations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090925092658.htm>.
Weber Shandwick Worldwide. (2009, September 28). Major Disasters Tax Surgical Staff But May Reduce Costs For Routine Operations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090925092658.htm
Weber Shandwick Worldwide. "Major Disasters Tax Surgical Staff But May Reduce Costs For Routine Operations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090925092658.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Swoop on 80 Airports in Global Ticket Fraud Crackdown

Police Swoop on 80 Airports in Global Ticket Fraud Crackdown

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) Police have arrested 118 people in an unprecedented globally-coordinated swoop on plane ticket credit card fraud, a billion-dollar organised crime industry, officials said Friday. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Privacy regulators recommend Google expand its requested removals to apply to all its web domains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
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


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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