Background: Day Hospital (DH) is a type of organization for providing diagnostic and therapeutic outpatient procedures for patients who are hospitalized and discharged within one day (within 22 hours). It can be organized in a hospital, clinic or healthcare company. The government of the Republic of Croatia prescribes minimum requirements for work on an outpatient basis, and the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) contracts the number of surgical beds, pays for the provided services and monitors the hospital bed usage.
Methods: The authors, using available literature, regulations and statistical reports, analyzed the number and hospital bed usage in surgical DH units in the public health system in Croatia for the 2013/2014 period.
Results: Of 25219 hospital beds in Croatia, in 2015 HZZO contracted 3811 DH beds (278 for general surgery and 33 for pediatric surgery). In 2014 there were 155 beds for general and 13 beds for pediatric surgery. In 2013 there were 20930 days of hospitalization in general day surgery and 2844 days in pediatric day surgery. In 2014 there were 22946 days of hospitalization in general day surgery and 2488 days in pediatric day surgery.
Conclusion: The percentage of surgical DH beds in overall number of surgical beds in our hospitals is low, and the utilization of capacity ranges from 54 to 87%. Pediatric day surgery beds are utilized better than general surgery. The Government and HZZO often change regulations regarding DH facilities. This makes it difficult for hospitals to maintain minimal requirements for the organization of surgical DH units.
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