BACKGROUND: The rate of hospital-based acute care (defined as hospital transfer at discharge, emergency department [ED] visit, or subsequent inpatient hospital [IP] admission) after outpatient procedure is gaining momentum as a quality metric for ambulatory surgery. However, the incidence and reasons for hospital-based acute care after arthroscopic shoulder surgery are poorly understood.
METHODS: We studied adult patients who underwent outpatient arthroscopic shoulder procedures in New York State between 2011 and 2013 using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database. ER visits and IP admissions within 7 days of surgery were identified by cross-matching 2 independent Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases.
RESULTS: The final cohort included 103,476 subjects. We identified 1867 (1.80%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72%–1.89%) events, and the majority of these encounters were ER visits (1643, or 1.59%, 95% CI, 1.51%–1.66%). Direct IP admission after discharged was uncommon (224, or 0.22%, 95% CI, 0.19%–0.24%). The most common reasons for seeking acute care were musculoskeletal pain (23.78% of all events). Nearly half of all events (43.49%) occurred on the day of surgery or on postoperative day 1. Operative time exceeding 2 hours was associated with higher odds of requiring acute care (odds ratio [OR], 1.28; 99% CI, 1.08–1.51). High-volume surgical centers (OR, 0.67; 99% CI, 0.58–0.78) and regional anesthesia (OR, 0.72; 99% CI, 0.56–0.92) were associated with lower odds of requiring acute care.
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of hospital-based acute care after outpatient shoulder arthroscopy was low (1.80%). Complications driving acute care visits often occurred within 1 day of surgery. Many of the events were likely related to surgery and anesthesia (eg, inadequate analgesia), suggesting that anesthesiologists may play a central role in preventing acute care visits after surgery.