Coding for Physical Restraint Status Among Hospitalized Patients: a 2019 National Inpatient Sample Analysis

Link to article at PubMed

J Gen Intern Med. 2023 Mar 31:1-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-023-08179-3. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The reduction of physical restraint utilization in the hospital setting is a key goal of high-quality care, but little is known about the rate of restraint use in general hospitals in the USA.

OBJECTIVE: This study reports the rate of physical restraint coding among acute care hospital discharges in the USA and explores associated demographic and diagnostic factors.

DESIGN: The National Inpatient Sample, a de-identified all-payors database of acute care hospital discharges in the USA, was queried for patients aged 18 and older with a diagnosis code for physical restraint status in 2019.

PARTICIPANTS: Hospitalized patients aged 18 and older.

MAIN MEASURES: Demographics, discharge diagnoses, in-hospital mortality, length of stay, total hospital charges.

KEY RESULTS: In total, 220,470 (95% CI: 208,114 to 232,826) hospitalizations, or 0.7% of overall hospitalizations, included a discharge code for physical restraint status. There was a 700-fold difference in coding for restraint utilization based on diagnosis, with 7.4% of patients with encephalitis receiving restraint diagnosis codes compared to < 0.01% of patients with uncomplicated diabetes. In an adjusted model, male sex was associated with an odds ratio of 1.4 (95% CI: 1.4 to 1.5) for restraint utilization coding, and Black race was associated with an odds ratio of 1.3 (95% CI: 1.2 to 1.4) relative to white race.

CONCLUSIONS: In the general hospital setting, there is variability in physical restraint coding by sex, race, and clinical diagnosis. More research is needed into the appropriate utilization of restraints in the hospital setting and possible inequities in restraint utilization.

PMID:37002459 | PMC:PMC10064960 | DOI:10.1007/s11606-023-08179-3

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