Acute admissions to a community hospital: experiences from Hallingdal sjukestugu.

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Acute admissions to a community hospital: experiences from Hallingdal sjukestugu.

Scand J Public Health. 2012 Jun;40(4):309-15

Authors: Lappegard Ø, Hjortdahl P


AIMS: Acute admissions to anywhere other than general hospitals are uncommon in Norway, but at Hallingdal sjukestugu, a community hospital in a rural district, this has been practiced for years. This article presents experiences from this practice. Materials and

METHODS: Hallingdal sjukestugu is a decentralized, specialist healthcare service, under the administration and funding of Ringerike sykehus, the nearest general hospital, which is 170 km away. General practitioners under telephone supervision of the hospital specialists run the inpatient department. Six municipalities with 20,000 inhabitants make use of the community hospital. Statistics were obtained from the patient administration systems and from manual statistics continuously registered in 2009-10.

RESULTS: In 2009-10 the inpatient department, an intermediate care unit with 14 beds, had an average of 605 admissions a year, with a mean length of stay of 6.3 days. There were 455 acute admissions to Hallingdal sjukestugu. Forty per cent of these patients were younger than 67 and 36% were older than 80 years of age. Half were admitted for observation and half for treatment. The main diagnostic groups were infections, injuries and palliative care. Seventeen per cent of the acute admitted patients were later transferred to the general hospital for further work-up or treatment; 70% were discharged to their homes.

CONCLUSIONS: The experiences from Hallingdal sjukestugu indicate that it is feasible to give a selected group of patients an alternative to acute admissions to a general hospital.

PMID: 22786914 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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