We examined administrative outcomes after opening an oncology acute palliative care unit (APCU), to determine attainment of administrative targets related to the unit's function of acute palliation.
We retrospectively reviewed the administrative database for our APCU for the 5 years following its opening in 2003. Data were abstracted on demographic information, as well as source of admission, primary reason for admission, discharge destination, inpatient death rate, and length of stay. Linear regression and the Cochran-Armitage trend test were used for analysis. In keeping with targets set at the unit's opening, our primary hypotheses were that outpatient admissions, admissions for symptom control, and discharges home would increase over the study period; secondary hypotheses were that length of stay and inpatient death rate would decrease.
There were 1748 admissions during the study period: the median age was 64, 54% were women, and the most common cancer sites were gastrointestinal (24%), lung (20%), and gynecologic (13%). There were significant changes for all primary endpoints: outpatient admissions increased from 47% to 70% (p