Surgery cancellation is a well-recognized quality problem within hospitals. The e-Team Surgery project addressed the problem of elective surgery cancellation at a Norwegian hospital and explored the potential to reduce surgery cancellation by providing a tool for secure online communication between the hospital and the patient. This communication would occur before surgery while the patient was still at home. The causes of elective surgery cancellation are divided into two major categories: hospital- and patient-related reasons. As part of the e-Team Surgery project, this study addressed patient reasons for cancelling surgery through qualitative interviews with 11 patients who fit these criteria. The study found that most patients called the hospital to reschedule, not to cancel, their upcoming surgery. The patient interviews had significant implications for the e-Team Surgery project. They affected the overall understanding of the surgery cancellation problem and made more clear the data and information needed when developing sustainable systems to reduce elective surgery cancellation.
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