Effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative in reducing time to surgery for patients requiring emergency cholecystectomy

Published in


Bamber, J. R., Stephens, T. J., Cromwell, D. A., Duncan, E. , Martin, G. P., Quiney, N. F., Abercrombie, J. F., Beckingham, I. J. and , (2019), Effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative in reducing time to surgery for patients requiring emergency cholecystectomy. BJS Open. doi:10.1002/bjs5.50221

  • 08 October 2019


Why it matters

Gallbladder removal – known as cholecystectomy – is one of the most common emergency surgeries, and the eventual treatment for many people presenting with gallstone-related symptoms.

For people who need a cholecystectomy, evidence shows that the sooner they have one, the better. Shorter wait times can minimise their readmissions and reduce their overall length of stay in hospital. But wait times for cholecystectomy vary across the UK, often failing to meet national guidelines that recommend surgery within fewer than eight days of presentation.

The Cholecystectomy Quality Improvement Collaborative (Chole-QuIC) was established to help UK hospitals reduce wait times in line with those standards.  A total of 13 hospitals from England and Wales were recruited, and provided with expert quality improvement support to help them develop and implement improvement solutions.

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of that collaborative, and determine whether participating hospitals were able to reduce cholecystectomy wait times.

Our approach

To evaluate the collaborative, we collected data about patients in England and Wales who were admitted with relevant symptoms and subsequently had a cholecystectomy between 1 April 2014 and 3 December 2017.

We analysed the data by comparing time-to-surgery rates between a baseline period and an intervention period for each collaborative hospital, for the sites that actively participated in the collaborative, and for a control group of more than 130 English and Welsh hospitals.

What we found

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Collaboration-Based Approaches

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