Quick diagnosis units versus hospitalization for the diagnosis of potentially severe diseases in Spain.

Link to article at PubMed

Quick diagnosis units versus hospitalization for the diagnosis of potentially severe diseases in Spain.

J Hosp Med. 2011 Dec 1;

Authors: Bosch X, Jordán A, Coca A, López-Soto A

OBJECTIVES: We describe the functioning of a quick diagnosis unit (QDU) in a Spanish public university hospital to ascertain the utility and cost of the model compared to conventional hospitalization. DESIGN: Observational study with a prospective and retrospective cohort. SETTING: Spanish tertiary public university hospital. PATIENTS: Two thousand consecutive patients evaluated between December 2007 and July 2010 with potentially severe diseases normally requiring hospitalization for diagnosis. For comparative purposes, we analyzed a randomized, retrospective cohort of 1454 hospitalized patients. MEASUREMENTS: Variables measured included source of referral, reason for consultation, time to diagnosis and length-of-stay, hospitalizations avoided, Charlson comorbidity index, costs, and patient satisfaction using a telephone survey. RESULTS: Suspected anemia, cachexia-anorexia syndrome, febrile syndrome, adenopathies and/or palpable masses, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and lung abnormalities accounted for 88% of QDU patients. The most-frequent diagnoses were cancer (26.3%) and iron-deficiency anemia. QDU patients with anemia were significantly younger than hospitalized patients with the same diagnosis (P < 0.0001). Other parameters were similar between QDU and hospitalized patients. The mean cost of treatment was 3153.87 Euros for hospitalization and 702.33 Euros for the QDU. Patients expressed a high degree of satisfaction with QDU care. CONCLUSIONS: QDUs can manage the diagnosis of patients with potentially severe diseases equally as well as traditional hospitalization, and saves costs. QDU patients expressed a high degree of satisfaction, with most preferring this model to hospitalization. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2011. © 2011 Society of Hospital Medicine.

PMID: 22135217 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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