Risk factors, costs and complications of delayed hospital discharge from internal medicine wards at a Canadian academic medical centre: retrospective cohort study.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Dec 04;19(1):935
Authors: Bai AD, Dai C, Srivastava S, Smith CA, Gill SS
BACKGROUND: Hospitalized patients are designated alternate level of care (ALC) when they no longer require hospitalization but discharge is delayed while they await alternate disposition or living arrangements. We assessed hospital costs and complications for general internal medicine (GIM) inpatients who had delayed discharge. In addition, we developed a clinical prediction rule to identify patients at risk for delayed discharge.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive GIM patients admitted between 1 January 2015 and 1 January 2016 at a large tertiary care hospital in Canada. We compared hospital costs and complications between ALC and non-ALC patients. We derived a clinical prediction rule for ALC designation using a logistic regression model and validated its diagnostic properties.
RESULTS: Of 4311 GIM admissions, 255 (6%) patients were designated ALC. Compared to non-ALC patients, ALC patients had longer median length of stay (30.85 vs. 3.95 days p < 0.0001), higher median hospital costs ($22,459 vs. $5003 p < 0.0001) and more complications in hospital (25.5% vs. 5.3% p < 0.0001) especially nosocomial infections (14.1% vs. 1.9% p < 0.0001). Sensitivity analyses using propensity score and pair matching yielded similar results. In a derivation cohort, seven significant risk factors for ALC were identified including age > =80 years, female sex, dementia, diabetes with complications as well as referrals to physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology. A clinical prediction rule that assigned each of these predictors 1 point had likelihood ratios for ALC designation of 0.07, 0.25, 0.66, 1.48, 6.07, 17.13 and 21.85 for patients with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 points respectively in the validation cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: Delayed discharge is associated with higher hospital costs and complication rates especially nosocomial infections. A clinical prediction rule can identify patients at risk for delayed discharge.
PMID: 31801590 [PubMed - in process]