Acute Med. 2022;21(1):27-33. doi: 10.52964/AMJA.0889.
INTRODUCTION: Medical admissions to hospital represent a diverse range of patients, from those managed on ambulatory pathways through Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) services, to those requiring prolonged inpatient admission. An understanding of current patterns of admission through acute medicine services and patient factors associated with longer hospital admission is needed to guide service planning and improvement.
METHODS: Data from the Society for Acute Medicine Benchmarking Audit (SAMBA) 2021 were analysed. Patients admitted to acute medicine services during a 24-hour period on 17th June 2021 were included, with data recording patient demographics, frailty score, acuity and follow-up of outcomes after seven days.
RESULTS: 8101 unplanned medical admissions were included, from 156 hospitals. 31.6% were discharged without overnight admission; the median hospital performance was 30.1% (IQR 19.3-39.3%). 22.1% of patients remained in hospital for more than 7 days. Those remaining in hospital for more than 48 hours and for more than seven days were more likely to be aged over 70, to be frail, or to have a NEWS2 of 3 or more on arrival to hospital.
CONCLUSION: The proportion of acute medical attendances receiving overnight admission varies between hospitals. Length of stay is impacted by patient factors and illness acuity. Strategies to reduce inpatient service pressures must ensure effective care for older patients and those with frailty.