Day of surgery cancellations in a tertiary care hospital: A one year review

Terrence L. Trentman, Jeff T. Mueller, Sharon L. Fassett, Carla L. Dormer, Kent P. Weinmeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: Day of surgery cancellations inconvenience patients and waste resources. Herein, we report the results of a one-year review of day of surgery cancellations. The primary outcome was percent same day cancellations. Secondary measures included avoidable versus unavoidable cancellations and patient versus hospital related cancellations. Patients and Methods: Cancelled cases were recorded in real time and then retrospectively reviewed. Monthly and at the end of the study period, the authors reviewed all day of surgery cancelled cases to confirm the reason for cancellation and to judge the event as avoidable or unavoidable. Results: 238/12176 (1.96%) were cancelled on the day of surgery. In six cases, no explanatory documentation could be found. Therefore, 232 cases were available for analysis. One-hundred nine cases were judged to be avoidable cancellations versus 123 that were judged unavoidable. Of the avoidable cancellations, 85% were hospital related versus 15% that were patient related causes. Of the avoidable, hospital related cancellations, the most common event were cases that were cancelled but not communicated. The greatest numbers of cancellations were deemed unavoidable and patient related. Conclusions: A cancellation rate of less than 2% is achievable. Advanced verification of complete surgical and medical evaluations may minimize this event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Anesthesia and Clinical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Communication
  • Efficiency
  • Organizational
  • Perioperative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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