Using an e-Delphi technique in achieving consensus across disciplines for developing best practice in day surgery in Ireland

Babak Meshkat, Seamus Cowman, Georgina Gethin, Kiaran Ryan, Miriam Wiley, Aoifa Brick, Erik Clarke, Eadhbhard Mulligan


Background: The benefits of day surgery are supported internationally by the provision of standards. However, standards from one health jurisdiction are not readily transferable to others as national health strategy, policy and funding are influencing factors.

Objective: To determine, through consensus from experts in day surgery, a list of best practice statements for day surgery in Ireland.

Methods: A three round e-Delphi technique. Professionals in surgery, anaesthesia, nursing and management involved in day surgery across all hospitals in Ireland were invited to participate as the expert panel. In round 1 a list of proposals for best practice were obtained from panel members. In round 2 experts were asked to rank each statement according to their importance on a nine point scale (1 = not important, 9 = high importance) using an online questionnaire. Consensus was set at 70%, meaning the items that 70% of people deemed to be important were carried over to round 3. A repeat online questionnaire was conducted with the remaining statements in round 3.

Results: Round 1 provided 261 statements. These were grouped and reduced to 62 statements for ranking. Following the iterative process over the subsequent two rounds a final list of 40 statements were developed and grouped into six thematic areas.

Conclusion: By using an e-Delphi process of gaining consensus among experts working in day surgical services, a list of best practice statements were developed.


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Journal of Hospital Administration

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

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