eISSN: 2449-8580
ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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3/2018
vol. 20
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The effect of modern medical technology on the availability and cost of cataract treatment in older patients

Joanna Furtak-Pobrotyn, Piotr Pobrotyn, Izabela Witczak, Łukasz Rypicz, Robert Susło, Renata Jażdż-Zaleska, Jarosław Drobnik

Fam Med Prim Care Rev 2018; 20(3): 222–226
Online publish date: 2018/09/29
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Background
The average waiting time for cataract treatment in Poland is 441 days – the longest for any surgical procedures in the country.

Objectives
The aim of the study was to examine the availability of surgical cataract treatment among older Polish patients.

Material and methods
Using data from 25,970 hospitalizations at the Ophthalmology Ward of the University Clinical Hospital in Wrocław, Poland in years 2012–2017, we analyzed the demographic structure of the patients, the duration of hospital stay, and the average cost; the level of statistical significance was taken to be p < 0.05.

Results
Patients 65 years of age or older made up 78% of patients receiving surgical cataract treatment. This treatment required significantly shorter hospitalization time in 2017 than in 2012 (an average of 1.89 vs. 2.19 patient-days, respectively). The average hospital stay length among the older patients was significantly shorter than among younger patients (2.3 vs 3.2 patient-days, respectively) and the average hospitalization cost for patients aged 65 years or older was significantly lower (2105.63 PLN vs 2929.57 PLN , equivalent of 495.44 EUR vs 689.31 EUR , respectively).

Conclusions
The duration of the average hospital stay in the ophthalmology ward was shorter, and the average hospitalization cost was lower, for patients aged 65 years or older than for younger patients because older patients mostly undergo modern standardized less-invasive cataract treatment. As more ophthalmological medical staff, infrastructure, and financial assets are available for cataract treatment and have not yet been assigned or spent, Polish hospitals should introduce newer medical technology, process adjustments, and organizational innovations to fully utilize their potential and improve the availability of cataract treatment.

keywords:

technology, economics, medical, patient care management, cataract, health services accessibility

 
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