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]