Day hospitals across the world are transforming the surgical experience for millions of patients by providing them with a more convenient alternative to hospital-based surgery, achieving the highest quality standards and positive patient experiences cost-effectively.
Quality outcomes are the result of rapid advances in surgery and anaesthetic technologies. Patients and surgeons benefit from streamlined admission and surgical procedures performed in facilities which are compact, designed for the range of services rendered and staffed by appropriately qualified skilled professionals. In South Africa, the utilisation of day hospitals lags behind countries such as the United States and Australia.
This is mainly as a result of the funding structure in the country, which traditionally favoured general or acute hospitals. As a result of the cost-effectiveness of day hospitals, without detriment to quality and safety, medical schemes have begun advocating the use of day hospitals for short-procedure surgery. It is difficult, if not impossible, for patients to get a similar cost advantage from a hospital, even when quality and standards of care are equal. Procedures performed in day hospitals are broad in scope. These include knee, shoulder, elbow, hand, eye, skin, spine, cosmetic, gynaecological, urological, ear nose and throat, as well as dental and general surgery and a wide range of diagnostic procedures that need to be performed in a sterile environment on a same-day-in-and-out basis.
The focused design of day hospitals makes it possible for surgeons to perform more procedures in any given time than in a general hospital. Post-operative follow-up before discharge is also expedited by the compact design of the facility. Patients benefit from the faster admission and preparation procedure and recuperation in the comfort of their homes. Facility access and parking are also much less cumbersome than at large hospitals. The family type atmosphere at an Advanced Health facility and the conduct of the staff attract surgeons and patients.