Hospital Length of Stay Prediction Methods: A Systematic Review

Link to article at PubMed

Med Care. 2021 Jul 26. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001596. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: This systematic review sought to establish a picture of length of stay (LOS) prediction methods based on available hospital data and study protocols designed to measure their performance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An English literature search was done relative to hospital LOS prediction from 1972 to September 2019 according to the PRISMA guidelines. Articles were retrieved from PubMed, ScienceDirect, and arXiv databases. Information were extracted from the included papers according to a standardized assessment of population setting and study sample, data sources and input variables, LOS prediction methods, validation study design, and performance evaluation metrics.

RESULTS: Among 74 selected articles, 98.6% (73/74) used patients' data to predict LOS; 27.0% (20/74) used temporal data; and 21.6% (16/74) used the data about hospitals. Overall, regressions were the most popular prediction methods (64.9%, 48/74), followed by machine learning (20.3%, 15/74) and deep learning (17.6%, 13/74). Regarding validation design, 35.1% (26/74) did not use a test set, whereas 47.3% (35/74) used a separate test set, and 17.6% (13/74) used cross-validation. The most used performance metrics were R2 (47.3%, 35/74), mean squared (or absolute) error (24.4%, 18/74), and the accuracy (14.9%, 11/74). Over the last decade, machine learning and deep learning methods became more popular (P=0.016), and test sets and cross-validation got more and more used (P=0.014).

CONCLUSIONS: Methods to predict LOS are more and more elaborate and the assessment of their validity is increasingly rigorous. Reducing heterogeneity in how these methods are used and reported is key to transparency on their performance.

PMID:34310455 | DOI:10.1097/MLR.0000000000001596

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