In April 1994, after the preconditions for ambulatory surgery came into effect, the day surgery ward was opened in the Hamburg-Harburg General Hospital. Besides ambulatory operations, this ward provides all surgical pre- and postoperative care. In addition to the surgical sections, different departments (urology, gynecology, dentistry, radiology, ophthalmology) take advantage of the ward. As preoperative diagnostics also could be completed ambulatorily, we were then able to establish a short-stay surgery department. This ward was opened in June 1996. One year later, the vascular center ("Gefässcentrum Harburg") was established by the departments for surgery, radiology, and angiology. This structure has been integrated into the day and short-stay surgery wards functionally and spatially. With the organizational structures mentioned and by setting up a wound consultation service, it is possible to optimize the capacity for admissions, operations, and beds. Government and health insurance demands for better processing can be filled and efficiency is increased.