Implementation of day of surgery admission for rectal cancer surgery in Ireland following a national centralisation programme

  • Ian StephensEmail author
  • Claudine Murphy
  • Ian S. Reynolds
  • Shaheel Sahebally
  • Joseph Deasy
  • John P. Burke
  • Deborah A. McNamara
Original Article



Centralisation of rectal cancer surgery has altered the delivery of colorectal cancer care in Ireland. This has resulted in an increased demand for elective surgical beds in designated centres.


This study aimed to assess if day of surgery admission (DOSA), in conjunction with implementation of a coordinated enhanced recovery pathway can reduce length of stay following elective rectal cancer resection.


This is a retrospective review from a single institution. Our prospectively maintained Dendrite® Database was interrogated. Three time points were analysed across a 7-year period (2011, 2012, 2016). The first predates the introduction of a dedicated DOSA programme, the next was directly thereafter, and the final was 5-years post-implementation. These dates coincide with the centralisation of rectal cancer surgery to this centre. Outcomes included unadjusted length of stay and rates of DOSA pre-and post-implementation of the programme.


The introduction of a DOSA pathway resulted in a fivefold increase in day of surgery admissions and a related 3-day reduction in average length of stay within a single year of implementation. This further improved in 2016, showing an almost 83% increase (15.90–98.50%) in day of surgery admission and a reduction in average length of stay from 16.4 to 12.4 days when compared to 2011.


Despite an increase in caseload of 54%, an estimated 272 bed days were saved. This demonstrated that DOSA is sustainable and highly effective in tackling the increased inpatient bed demands associated with the growing requirement for elective surgery.


Centralisation Day of surgery admission Ireland Length of stay Rectal cancer 


Author contributions

Study concept and design: D.A. McNamara

Study materials: I. Stephens

Data collection: I. Stephens and C. Murphy

Data analysis: I. Stephens and I.S Reynolds

Manuscript preparation: All authors

Manuscript review: All authors

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Stephens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudine Murphy
    • 1
  • Ian S. Reynolds
    • 1
  • Shaheel Sahebally
    • 1
  • Joseph Deasy
    • 1
  • John P. Burke
    • 1
  • Deborah A. McNamara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Colorectal SurgeryBeaumont HospitalDublin 9Ireland

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