Aust Health Rev. 2023 Aug 29. doi: 10.1071/AH22242. Online ahead of print.
ObjectivePatients admitted from the emergency department may be co-located on the treating team's 'home ward'. If no bed is available, patients may be sent to another ward, where they may remain under the admitting team as an 'outlier'. Conversely, care may be handed over to the team on whose home ward they are located. We conducted a retrospective analysis to understand the impact of outlier status and handovers of care on outcomes for General Medicine inpatients.MethodsGeneral Medicine admissions at the Royal Adelaide Hospital between September 2020 and November 2021 were analysed. We examined the rate of hospital-acquired complications, inpatient mortality rate, mortality within 48 h of admission, Relative Stay Index, time of discharge from hospital and rate of adverse events within 28 days of discharge.ResultsA total of 3109 admissions were analysed. Handovers within 24 h of admission were associated with a longer length of stay. There was a trend towards higher rates of adverse events within 28 days of discharge with handovers of care. Outlier status did not affect any outcome measures.ConclusionsHandovers within the first 24 h of admission are associated with longer than expected length of stay.