Meta-Analysis on the Impact of the Acute Care Surgery Model of Disease- and Patient-Specific Outcomes in Appendicitis and Biliary Disease

Patrick B. Murphy, Kristin DeGirolamo, Theunis Jean Van Zyl, Laura Allen, Elliott Haut, W. Robert Leeper, Ken Leslie, Neil Parry, Morad Hameed, Kelly N. Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-777.e13
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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