Financial cost of elective day of surgery cancellations

Elina Turunen, Merja Miettinen, Leena Setälä, Katri Vehviläinen-Julkunen


Operative care is one of the major areas of healthcare services as over 310 million surgeries are conducted yearly. Surgery cancellations is a widely used indicator when evaluating the quality of preoperative care. Cancellations cause financial lost for organizations, however there is only limited research about the costs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost of elective day of surgery (DOS) cancellations in 13 operative specialties at a university hospital in Finland between September 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016 after a structured preoperative protocol was implemented to practice and a cancellation rate of 4.7% was recognized. Procedure prices conducted the data for the research and were collected from the hospital’s invoicing system. Financial loss and savings of cancellations were calculated from the total cost of procedures. As a result the total cost of DOS cancellations during the nine-month time period was 953,374.27 euros and mean loss of a single cancelled operation was 2,459.91 euros. The total of material savings for the hospital were 106,917.33 euros. As a conclusion, DOS cancellations cause unnecessary wastage, and financial aspects should be followed and evaluated systematically by setting goals and providing continuing developments.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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