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After surgery, several factors influence when and where a patient is discharged. Patient-related factors include the patient’s general condition, ongoing needs, and comfort level managing those needs. The patient’s social network of family and friends also has an important role. A robust and mature social network might make early discharge to home a possibility. Other factors are surgeon and hospital experience with the routine postoperative course after a complex surgical procedure, whereby the use of critical pathways may result in early discharge to home.1 Conversely, surgeon and hospital inexperience might underlie lengthy hospital stays and discharge to skilled facilities. Moreover, a complex interplay of factors, such as the availability, quality, cost, and insurance coverage of home health care and skilled facilities, might also affect discharge time and destination.
Nakakura EK. Home, Sweet Home, After Surgery. JAMA Surg. 2014;149(3):251. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.3845