Diagnostics (Basel). 2020 Aug 13;10(8):E585. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics10080585.
Although quick diagnosis units (QDU) have become a cost-effective alternative to inpatient admission for diagnosis of potentially serious diseases, the rate of return hospitalizations among evaluated patients is unknown. This study examined the temporal trends in admissions of QDU patients through 15 years. Adult patients referred to QDU from 2004 to 2019 who were hospitalized between the first and last visit in the unit were eligible. Decisions about admissions were mainly based on the Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol and required independent validation by experienced clinicians using a customized tool. The final analysis included 825 patients. Patient characteristics and major reasons for admission were compared each year and linear trends were analyzed. Admission rates decreased from 7.2% in 2004-2005 to 4.3% in 2018-2019 (p < 0.0001). While a significant increasing trend was observed in the rate of admissions due to cancer-related complications (from 39.5% in 2004-2005 to 61.7% in 2018-2019; p < 0.0001), those due to anemia-related complications and scheduled invasive procedures experienced a significant downward trend. A likely explanation for these declining trends was the relocation of the unit to a new daycare center in 2013-2014 with recovery rooms and armchairs for IV treatments. The facts of this study could help in the provision of anticipatory guidance for the optimal management of patients at risk of clinical complications.