The Impact of FASTPASS: A Collaboration With Emergency Department to Improve Management of Patients With Gallbladder Disease and Acute Appendicitis

Narong Kulvatunyou, S. Anthony Zimmerman, Srikar Adhikhari, Bellal Joseph, Lynn Gries, Andrew L. Tang, Peter Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Efficient Emergency Department (ED) throughput depends on several factors, including collaboration and consultation with surgical services. The acute care surgery service (ACS) collaborated with ED to implement a new process termed “FASTPASS” (FP), which might improve patient-care for those with acute appendicitis and gallbladder disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 1-year outcome of FP. Methods: FASTPASS is a joint collaboration between ACS and ED. ED physicians were provided with a simple check-list for diagnosing young males (<50-year old) with acute appendicitis (AA) and young males or females (<50-year old) with gallbladder disease (GBD). Once ED deemed patients fit our FP check-list, patients were directly admitted (FASTPASSed) to the observation unit. The ACS then came to evaluate the patients for possible surgical intervention. We performed outcome analysis before and after the institution of the FP. Outcomes of interest were ED length of stay (LOS), time from ED to the operating room (OR) (door-to-knife), hospital LOS (HLOS), and cost. Results: During our 1-year study period, for those patients who underwent GBD/AA surgery, 56 (26%) GBD and 27 (26%) AA patients met FP criteria. Compared to the non-FP patients during FP period, FP halved ED LOS for GBD (7.4 ± 3.0 versus 3.5 ± 1.7 h, P < 0.001) and AA (6.7 ± 3.3 versus. 1.8 ± 1.6 h, P < 0.001). Similar outcome benefits were observed for door-to-knife time, HLOS, and costs. Conclusions: In this study, the FP process improved ED throughput in a single, highly-trained ER leading to an overall improved patient care process. A future study involving multiple EDs and different disease processes may help decrease ED overcrowding and improve healthcare system efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume260
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Acute care surgery
  • Appendicitis
  • Emergency department efficiency
  • FASTPASS
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Healthcare delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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