Aim: To investigate movement of people from hospital into residential aged care.
Methods: An innovative record linkage method was implemented to create a national database to investigate transitions from hospital into aged care.
Results: In 2001–2002, 3.2% of hospitalisations for people aged 65+ ended with admission into residential aged care. A further 5.5% were for people already living permanently in care. Nationally, more people were admitted into permanent care from hospital than from the community. Factors important in predicting admission to aged care from hospital included length of hospital stay, diagnoses, region of usual residence and hospital jurisdiction.
Conclusion: Individually, national hospital and aged care datasets do not provide adequate information on movement between the sectors. Linking the data allowed the first national investigation into movement from hospital into aged care. Results indicate the importance of investigating interactions of service provision (both supply and demand driven) at the local level.