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Impact of the Acute Care Surgery Model on Disease- and Patient-Specific Outcomes in Appendicitis and Biliary Disease: A Meta-Analysis. J Am Coll Surg 2017 Dec;225(6):763-777.e13



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85030849191 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   29 Citations


BACKGROUND: The acute care surgery (ACS) model was developed to acknowledge the complexity of a traditionally fractured emergency general surgery patient population, however, there are variations in the design of ACS service models. This meta-analysis analyzes the impact of implementation of different ACS models on the outcomes for appendicitis and biliary disease.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic, English-language search of major databases was conducted. From 1,827 papers, 2 independent reviewers identified 25 studies that reported on outcomes for patients with appendicitis (n = 13), biliary disease (n = 7), or both (n = 5), before and after implementation of an ACS service. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to score quality. Outcomes were analyzed using random effect methodology and sensitivity analyses were performed.

RESULTS: Significant heterogeneity existed between studies and ACS designs. The overall study quality rating was fair to poor with a moderate risk of bias. After implementation of an ACS service, there was an overall reduction in length of stay by 0.51 days (95% CI -0.81 to -0.20 days) and 0.73 days (95% CI 0.09 to 1.36 days) for appendicitis and biliary disease, respectively. Complication rates were lower after implementing ACS (odds ratio 0.65; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.86 and odds ratio 0.46; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.61). There was no difference in after-hours operating for either appendicitis or biliary disease, except when considering ACS models with dedicated theater time, which favors an ACS model (odds ratio 0.49; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.73) in appendicitis.

CONCLUSIONS: The ACS model has been shown to benefit acute care surgery patients with improved access to care, fewer complications, and decreased length of stay for 2 common disease processes. The design and implementation of an ACS service can impact the magnitude of effect.

Author List

Murphy PB, DeGirolamo K, Van Zyl TJ, Allen L, Haut E, Leeper WR, Leslie K, Parry N, Hameed M, Vogt KN


Patrick Murphy MD Assistant Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biliary Tract Diseases
Critical Care
Models, Theoretical
Treatment Outcome