Ambulatory procedures data now available

Need benchmark data on ambulatory care? Check out the National Center for Health Statistics on the growth of the ambulatory surgery field. Here’s a sample of the kind of information the center can provide:

Ambulatory surgery visits

• In 1994, an estimated 28.3 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed during 18.8 million ambulatory surgery visits. (See chart, p. 120.)

• The 18.8 million ambulatory surgery visits accounted for 49% of the combined total of ambulatory surgery visits and inpatient discharges with surgical and nonsurgical procedures

• An estimated 16 million (85%) of the ambulatory surgery visits occurred in hospitals and 2.9 million (15%) occurred in freestanding centers. (See chart, above.)

• Almost 90% of ambulatory surgery visits were discharged to their customary residence, but 3.1% went to observation status and 1.6% were admitted to hospitals as inpatients.

Ambulatory procedures

• Four procedures were performed more than a million times on ambulatory patients: extraction of lens (nearly 2 million), endoscopy of large intestine (1.8 million), insertion of prosthetic lens (nearly 1.6 million), and endoscopy of small intestine (1.2 million).

[Editor’s note: The data in this article and the above charts were taken from: Ambulatory Surgery in the United States, 1994. Lola Jean Kozak, Margaret Jean Hall, Robert Pokras, and Linda Lawrence, National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Care Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 14, 1997. To reach the Center for Health Statistics, call (301) 436-8500.