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Prioritising patients for semi-urgent surgery: A scoping review

Version 2 2024-06-03, 02:56
Version 1 2024-03-08, 03:19
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 02:56 authored by Elyse CoffeyElyse Coffey, Rachel M Walker, Pat NicholsonPat Nicholson, Brigid M Gillespie
AbstractBackgroundSemi‐urgent surgery where surgical intervention is required within 48 h of admission and the patient is medically stable is vulnerable to scheduling delays. Given the challenges in accessing health care, there is a need for a detailed understanding of the factors that impact decisions on scheduling semi‐urgent surgeries.AimTo identify and describe the organisational, departmental and contextual factors that determine healthcare professionals' prioritising patients for semi‐urgent surgeries.MethodsWe used the Joanna Briggs Institute guidance for scoping reviews and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analysis extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA‐ScR) checklist. Four online databases were used: EBSCO Academic Search Complete, EBSCO Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, OVID Embase and EBSCO Medline. Articles were eligible for inclusion if they published in English and focussed on the scheduling of patients for surgery were included. Data were extracted by one author and checked by another and analysed descriptively. Findings were synthesises using the Patterns, Advances, Gaps, Evidence for practice and Research recommendations framework.ResultsTwelve articles published between 1999 and 2022 were included. The Patterns, Advances, Gaps, Evidence for practice and Research recommendations framework highlighted themes of emergency surgery scheduling and its impact on operating room utilisation. Gaps in the management of operating room utilisation and the incorporation of semi‐urgent surgeries into operating schedules were also identified. Finally, the lack of consensus on the definition of semi‐urgent surgery and the parameters used to assign surgical acuity to patients was evident.ConclusionsThis scoping review identified patterns in the scheduling methods, and involvement of key decision makers. Yet there is limited evidence about how key decision makers reach consensus on prioritising patients for semi‐urgent surgery and its impact on patient experience.Patient or Public ContributionNo Patient or Public Contribution.



Journal of Clinical Nursing (JCN)




London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal