Unplanned Return to Theatre

Darwin Private Hospital has an operating theatre and carries out many sessions of surgery every year. One of the ways of monitoring the success of surgery is to check whether any patients require an unexpected second operation – we call this “return to theatre”. There are many reasons why a patient may need a further operation – however where possible we aim to minimise this number.

This graph shows the percentage of patients having an operation or procedure at Darwin Private Hospital that have required a return to theatre during the same admission. The rate for the past 3 years is shown in the blue bars. This is compared to the rate of “return to theatre” in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar).

The graph shows that patients undergoing surgery at Darwin Private Hospital are less likely to have an unexpected return to theatre compared with other Australian hospitals.

What we are doing to reduce unplanned returns to theatre

Improvement strategies may vary from hospital to hospital. Examples are:

  • Careful monitoring of patients in recovery
  • Ensuring patient’s level of pain is carefully assessed
  • Reviewing every case when a patient requires a return to theatre, to work out the reasons why and how to prevent it in future
  • Conducting thorough pre-operative evaluation including coagulation studies and anti-coagulant therapy management where indicated
  • Preadmission assessment of high risk patients to make sure all required tests and precautions are taken

 

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