Prolonged length of stay (LOS) is a major concern for hospitalized populations at risk for adverse events. Homebound patients are at particular risk for long stays and may have unique discharge needs because of their commitment to be cared for at home despite poor functional status.
The goal of this study was to describe factors contributing to long hospitalizations in the homebound population.
This retrospective observational pilot study included all 2007 discharges that occurred for patients at The Mount Sinai Hospital enrolled in the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program.
Long-stay patients were defined as those having an LOS 2 standard deviations above the mean. Hospitalization days were defined as “nonmedical” when patients medically ready for discharge remained in the hospital. Patients discharged immediately after determination of medical readiness were characterized as “medical stay” cases. The University HealthSystems Consortium Database was used to calculate expected LOS and the LOS ratio. Chart reviews were performed to describe long-stay cases as nonmedical or medical.
The average LOS for 479 discharges was 7.84 days, with a mean LOS Ratio of 1.23. Seventeen cases were determined to be long stays. Eight of these cases (47%) were defined as nonmedical stays. These accounted for 136 days of hospitalization and 32% of total long-stay days. The most common reason for a nonmedical stay was nursing facility placement delay.
Nonmedical factors accounted for nearly one-third of all long-stay days in the hospitalized homebound population. Increased interdisciplinary collaboration may help address homebound patient LOS. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2012; © 2012 Society of Hospital Medicine.