• The impact of changes in work practice and service delivery on surgical infection rates in a general surgical unit

      Piggott, R; Hogan, A; Concannon, E; Sharkey, M; Waldron, R; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-10)
      Ring-fencing of elective orthopaedic beds has been shown to significantly reduce surgical site infection (SSI) rates. There are fewer studies in general surgical practice. Comparison of overall surgical workload in 2007 and 2011 was performed. Data pertaining to SSI were collected and analysis of this prospectively maintained database was performed on all SSI diagnosed in 2007 and 2011. There was a significant reduction in the crude SSI rate from 117 cases in 2007 (8%) to 42 cases in 2011 (3.5%). A statistically significant reduction in SSI rate for elective surgery was observed, 7.6% vs. 2.5% (p<0.001 Chi-square test). Apart from the introduction of ring fencing, all other contributory variables remained unchanged. Ring-fencing of inpatient general surgical beds has been associated with a significant reduction in SSI rates. These data provide timely supportive evidence that ring-fencing of inpatient beds is an appropriate patient-orientated strategy.
    • Operative surgical yield from general surgical outpatient clinics; Time to change the way we practice?

      Irfan, M; McGovern, M; Robertson, I; Waldron, R; Khan, I; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-07)
      The aim of this study was to compare the number of patients attending surgical outpatient clinics in a general hospital to the number of resulting elective procedures scheduled in a single year. Patients initially assessed at private consulting rooms are not included in this study. The number of surgical outpatient appointments issued in 2011 totalled 6503 with non-attendances running at 1489(22.9%).The number of elective surgical theatre cases performed in 2011(i.e. the surgical yield from that period) came to 1078 with an additional 1470 patients referred for endoscopy and 475 patients referred for minor operations. Operative surgical yield from the currently structured outpatient clinic model is low, with the number of theatre cases coming to only 16.58% of the original number of outpatient appointments issued. Recommendations for the improvement of outpatient services are made. These findings are relevant in the context of streamlining access to surgical services.
    • Staff attitudes to an ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block room for orthopaedic patients

      Moore, DM; Duggan, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-09)
      Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks have well recognised benefits in orthopaedic patients. Some hospitals, to maximise these benefits, establish dedicated â block roomsâ to deliver this service. Orthopaedic surgery makes up a large proportion of our hospitals work load, and many of these patients would benefit from ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks. We analysed the attitudes of key staff in our hospital towards the establishment of a block room. Sixty questionnaires were distributed and 47 (78%) were completed. Orthopaedic surgeons (n=6) were concerned ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks would delay theatre lists (83%), and cause patients pain (67%) and increased anxiety (67%). Anaesthetists (n=10) and Nurses (n=30) were concerned there was insufficient experience in their departments to deliver this service (80% and 77%, respectively). However, 91% of all staff believed funding should be available for a block room. Our survey has identified areas of concern, and deficiencies that we must address before proceeding with the development of such a service.
    • Utilisation of clinical networks to facilitate elective surgical workload; a preliminary analysis

      Burke, T; Waters, P; Waldron, RM; Joyce, K; Khan, I; Khan, W; Kerin, M; Barry, K; Mayo General Hospital and Galway University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-12)
      Clinical networks have potential to increase elective surgical workload for benign conditions in non-cancer centres. The aims of this study were to determine outcomes for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in our unit and to evaluate early experience in managing benign surgical workload referred from the tertiary centre within our clinical network. An analysis of cholecystectomies performed at Mayo General Hospital was conducted (2003-2013). A review of elective procedures more recently referred from Galway University Hospital (GUH) waiting lists was also conducted. 1937 consecutive cholecystectomies were performed with an overall laparoscopic conversion rate of 1.7% (33/1875). The total major complication rate was 0.93% (18/1937). 151 selected procedures originating from GUH have been performed since December 2013 without adverse events. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed in significant volume in the general hospital environment. This and other appropriate benign surgical procedures may be performed outside of tertiary units according to network agreements.