Background: Trigger finger release (TFR) is a commonly performed procedure. However, there is great variation in the setting, care pathway, anesthetic, and cost. We compared the institutional cost for isolated TFR before and after redesigning our clinical care pathway. Methods: Total direct cost to the health system (excluding the surgeon and anesthesiology costs) and time spent by the patient at the surgery center were collected for 1 hand surgeon's procedures at an ambulatory surgery center over a 3-year period. We implemented a redesigned pathway that altered phases of care and anesthetic use by transitioning from intravenous (IV) sedation to wide awake local anesthesia with no tourniquet. Cost data were reported as percentage change in the median and compared both pre- to post-implementation and with 2 control surgeons using the traditional pathway within the same center. Power analysis was based on prior work on a carpal tunnel pathway. Significance was defined by a P-value < .05. Results: Ten TFRs (90% local with IV sedation) and 44 TFRs (89% local alone) were performed pre- and post-implementation, respectively. From pre- to post-implementation, the study surgeon's total direct cost decreased by 18%, while the control surgeons decreased by 2%. Median time spent at the surgery center decreased by 41 minutes post-implementation with significantly shorter setup time in the operating room (OR), total time in the OR, and time spent in recovery prior to discharge. Conclusions: Redesigning the care pathway for TFR led to a decrease in institutional cost and patient time spent at the surgery center.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1558944719884661
View details for PubMedID 31690136