Acute hospital care: How much activity is attributable to caring for patients with dementia?

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Acute hospital care: How much activity is attributable to caring for patients with dementia?

QJM. 2015 May 7;

Authors: Briggs R, Coary R, Collins R, Coughlan T, O'Neill D, Kennelly SP

People with dementia are among the most frequent service users in the acute hospital. Despite this, the acute hospital is not organized in a manner that best addresses their needs. Methods We examined acute dementia care over a three year period from 2010-2012 in a 600 bed university hospital, to clarify the service activity and costs attributable to acute dementia care. Results 929 patients with dementia were admitted during the study period, accounting for 1,433/69,718 (2%) of all inpatient episodes, comprising 44,449/454,169 (10%) of total bed days. The average length of stay (LOS) was 31.0 days in the dementia group and 14.1 days in those over 65 years without dementia. The average hospital care cost was almost three times more (€13,832) per patient with dementia, compared to (€5,404) non-dementia patients, accounting for 5% (almost €20,000,000) of the total hospital casemix budget for the period. Discussion Service activity attributable to dementia care in the acute hospital is considerable. Moreover, given the fact that a significant minority of cognitive impairment goes unrecognized after acute admissions, it is likely that this is under-representative of the full impact of dementia in acute care. While the money currently being spent on acute dementia care is considerable, it is being used to provide a service that does not meet its users needs adequately. It is clear that acute hospitals need to provide a more 'dementia friendly' service for acutely unwell older persons.

PMID: 25956392 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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