Skip to main content

Wasted Hospital Days Impair the Value of Length-of-Stay Variables in the Quality Assessment of Trauma Care

Buy Article:

$70.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Hospital length of stay (LOS) is frequently used to evaluate the quality of trauma care but LOS may be impacted by nonmedical factors as well. We reviewed our experience with delays in patient discharge to determine its financial consequences and its impact on LOS. We performed an analysis of linked trauma registry and “delayed discharge” databases. Actual LOS (A-LOS) values were compared with calculated ideal LOS (I-LOS) values, and the per cent increase in LOS was calculated. Linear regression analysis was used to identify significant predictors of prolonged LOS. One thousand, five hundred and seventeen patients were studied, with an A-LOS of 6.54 days. Seven per cent of patients experienced discharge delays, resulting in 580 excess hospital days. Calculated I-LOS was 6.15 days, 6.34 per cent lower than A-LOS. Other I-LOS estimates were as much as 25 per cent lower than A-LOS. Estimated excess patient charges associated with delayed discharges were $4,000,000 to $15,000,000. Discharge delays are an infrequent, although costly, occurrence that has a significant impact on LOS. LOS therefore may not be an appropriate metric for assessing the quality of trauma care, and should only be used if it has been corrected for discharge delays. Concerted efforts should be directed towards identifying and correcting the factors responsible for delayed discharge in trauma patients.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication date: 01 September 2009

More about this publication?
  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Annual Scientific Meeting
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more