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Utilisation of beds on the general medical unit by 'non-acute medical' patients: a retrospective study of incidence and cost in two Tasmanian regional medical hospital units

Citation

Buist, MD and Jaffray, L and Bell, E and Hanna, L and Weinstein, P and Kumar, S and Grimmer, K, Utilisation of beds on the general medical unit by 'non-acute medical' patients: a retrospective study of incidence and cost in two Tasmanian regional medical hospital units, Internal Medicine Journal, 44, (2) pp. 171-177. ISSN 1444-0903 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/imj.12335

Abstract

Background: Demand for healthcare services threatens to overwhelm the Australian healthcare system. Public hospitals have the largest component of expenditure growth and as such represent the largest opportunity for efficiency gains. Utilisation of inpatient hospital beds and in particular those on general medical units has not been studied in Australia.

Aim: To undertake a retrospective patient medical record review of 200 sequential admissions to the medical wards in two regional Tasmanian hospitals to determine the incidence of non-acute medical patient admission to the medical unit, and the subsequent days in hospital that were not required for medical reasons. The cost of these days was estimated.

Results: Sixteen patient admissions (8%) could not be justified on medical grounds. Forty-eight (24%) patient admissions had at least one day hospital day that could not be justified on medical grounds. Of the 1438 total bed days, 475 (33%) were for non-medical reasons. The estimated cost of those non-medical bed days for this cohort was $764 800.

Conclusions: The incidence of non-acute medical admissions and non-acute medical bed days to the medical unit and associated cost was significant. Further research is needed to design alternative care provision for such patients particularly in regional Australia. The potential savings to the Australian healthcare system could be significant.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:inappropriate admission, medical unit, regional Australia, cost analysis
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Evaluation of Health Outcomes
Author:Buist, MD (Professor Michael Buist)
Author:Jaffray, L (Mrs Linda Jaffray)
Author:Bell, E (Dr Elissa Bell)
ID Code:100977
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2015-06-04
Last Modified:2017-06-23
Downloads:0

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