Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Comparing patient satisfaction, outcomes and costs between cataract day surgery and inpatient surgery for elderly people

Yu-Pei Fan, Duncan Boldy and Denise Bowen

Australian Health Review 20(4) 27 - 39
Published: 1997


The study reported in this paper examined the characteristics of elderly peopleundergoing cataract surgery and compared patient perspectives and satisfaction,outcome, costs, reported health problems and social circumstances of day surgerypatients and hospital inpatients, The study sample was drawn from the client databaseof a health insurance fund and covered 291 people aged 60 years or more who hadrecently undergone cataract surgery.Overall, both day surgery patients and inpatients indicated a high level of satisfactionwith their eye surgery (about 80- per cent for both groups). The majority of patientsfrom both groups reported an improved level of vision, with vision outcome in theday surgery group being as good as in the inpatient group. Overall, inpatienttreatment was more costly and involved higher out of pocket expenses.The study results indicate a potential to increase the number of patients undergoingcataract surgery as a day patient procedure. Pre-operative preparation contributed topatient satisfaction and the availability of family and/or social support was animportant factor influencing day surgery admission. Whilst patients reporting healthproblems were less inclined to have cataract surgery than were day patients, this onlyaccounted for one-fifth of the total inpatient group. Developing systematic andappropriate case selection criteria and effective case management will contribute tomore efficient use of hospital resources, an increased use of day surgery facilities, andhence a more cost-effective overall cataract surgery service for elderly people.

© AHHA 1997

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