Patient-days used for isolation in a community hospital.
Am J Infect Control. 2013 Jul;41(7):612-6
Authors: Lee KK, Lacerna C
BACKGROUND: Isolation of patients with known or suspected infection strains the resources of hospitals, but little information exists on the actual utilization of isolation beds.
METHODS: The infection control team of a community hospital keeps a log of hospital days used for isolation. We obtained information from this log for August 2009 through August 2010 on hospital days for isolation due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Clostridium difficile, other multidrug-resistant organisms, and disorders necessitating droplet or airborne isolation, such as tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, varicella, and influenza. We also included days of isolation used to rule out the presence of these infections. All data from the medical-surgical and intensive care units were included unless the start date or end date of isolation was missing. Utilization percentages (isolation days divided by total hospital days) were calculated for the total period, for each month, and for each category of isolation.
RESULTS: During the study period, 18.1% of hospital days were devoted to isolation (13.7% for definite infection and 4.4% to rule out infection). Monthly utilization ranged from 13.4% to 22%. Patients with confirmed methicillin-resistant S aureus or C difficile infections and patients with possible C difficile infection accounted for 75% of the isolation days.
CONCLUSIONS: Isolation beds were required for a substantial portion of total patient-days in our study. Our data may help hospitals use hospital beds efficiently and predict nursing needs, hospital supply needs, and workload for environmental services.
PMID: 23219671 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]