Numbers needed to hospitalize-risks and benefits of admission in the new decade.
Eur J Intern Med. 2010 Jun;21(3):233-5
Authors: Subbe CP, Gemmell L
While hospitals are central to western style health care systems it is unclear which patients benefit from hospitalization and who might be put at risk. The high cost means that reasons for hospitalization will need to be reviewed in the current economic climate. Accepted grounds for hospitalization include life threatening illness, diagnostic uncertainty with the threat of deteriorating health, the need for specialist expertise or experience or the need for nursing care, including the care of the dying. Some of the traditional surveillance functions of the hospital can now be taken over by technology or alternative settings. These changes will lead to a blurring of margins between Outpatient, Inpatient and Critical Care. Beyond the care of the critically ill patient it is unlikely that all patients currently admitted to hospital benefit from this process and would be admitted in future. A generally accepted system for risk assessment of medial inpatients is urgently needed to allow researchers to examine the effectiveness of health care systems involving hospitalization and the circumstances under which hospitalization is cost effective and improves mortality, morbidity and patient reported outcomes.
PMID: 20493429 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]