A general medical short-stay unit is not more efficient than a traditional model of care.
Med J Aust. 2014 May 5;200(8):482-4
Authors: Russell PT, Hakendorf P, Thompson CH
OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficiency of a short-stay unit (SSU) for undifferentiated medical patients and evaluate its effect on the overall efficiency of a general medicine department.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PATIENTS: Retrospective study of all general medical patients admitted to the SSU at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, during its 5 years of operation (2005-2009), compared with 4 years before its institution and 2 years after its closure.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Relative stay index (RSI); inhospital mortality; readmissions within 7 and 28 days.
RESULTS: 23 790 general medical patients were admitted overall, and 10 764 of these (45.2%) were admitted to the SSU. The RSI for the SSU during its years of operation was 0.79, compared with 1.34 for the long-stay unit. The overall RSI for the department did not improve during those years and was not significantly different to the periods before or after.
CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence that an SSU for undifferentiated medical patients creates bed capacity. It does, however, appear to be safe.
PMID: 24794612 [PubMed - in process]