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Justification of hospital days and discharge delays in a non-selected population of acute stroke patients
Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Journal Article --- Old month value: Nov
Using a published protocol, we evaluated a non-selected population of stroke patients to identify unnecessary days of hospitalisation in the Department of Neurology at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland. This study was undertaken to determine whether physicians can modify the non-medically justified hospital days. We prospectively studied 118 patients with stroke admitted to our Department over a period of 5 months. Each day spent on the ward was placed in one of two categories: those due to medical reasons (1,391 hospital days) and those due to non-medical reason (518 days). Using a previously published protocol, 74 parameters were evaluated. Delays in obtaining examinations or a specialist's consultation accounted for a small proportion of waiting days (1.9% of total hospital days), which was greater in patients who were not disabled (0.9% of hospital days) than in patients with total dependence (0.2% of hospital days). The delays resulted mainly from awaiting transfer either to another department or to a nursing home. The length of stay increased with severity of dependence. However, the number of days spent for transfer to a nursing home was also relatively high in the non-dependent patient group (42% of hospital days). This study demonstrates that neurologists cannot easily influence the length of stay in hospital. It also corroborates the need to develop short- and long-term chronic care facilities to facilitate the transfer of patients once there are no further medical reasons for staying in hospital.
Adolescent Adult Age Factors Aged Aged, 80 and over Cerebral Hemorrhage/epidemiology Cerebrovascular Disorders/*epidemiology/therapy Disability Evaluation Female Home Nursing Hospitals Humans Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology/therapy *Length of Stay Male Middle Aged Nursing Homes *Patient Discharge Time Factors
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