Delay in discharge of psychiatric patients frequently is attributed to the lack of available community resources, or to the unwillingness of the patient or his family to accept discharge or transfer to another facility. The role of the psychiatric system itself rarely is mentioned as a factor. A study of 138 psychiatric patients in a Canadian community hospital in 1978 showed that 35 per cent were judged to be delayed in their discharge. By far the greatest source of delay was the administration of the various psychiatric services within the system. Delayed patients were found to be statistically similar to nondelayed patients, except for the delayed patients tendency to be poorer and to be overrepresented on two of the six wards studied. The cost implications of the delays in discharge are discussed, as are suggestions for solving the problems within the administrative framework.
Stimulated by a report in 1974, we have reviewed all abdominoperineal resections in a Univeristy-affiliated community hospital. From 1964--1973, 67 such procedures were performed. There were 65 adenocarcinomas, one squamous cell cancer, and one carcinoid tumor. Dukes' classification was A-4, B-22, C-39, D-4. Postoperative complications occurred in 55.1% of patients. Late complications occurred in 22% of patients. Five-year follow-up was possible in 34 patients with an overall survival of 50%.
A non-sequential Bayesian program for diagnosing acute abdominal pain was developed using an Amdahl mainframe accessed by a Texas Instrument remote terminal. Transferring the program to a MacIntosh SE/30 using hypercard was attended by increased utilisation from 15 to 44%.
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Cites: Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1990 Mar;72(2):140-62185682
Acute admissions to anywhere other than general hospitals are uncommon in Norway, but at Hallingdal sjukestugu, a community hospital in a rural district, this has been practiced for years. This article presents experiences from this practice. Materials and
Hallingdal sjukestugu is a decentralized, specialist healthcare service, under the administration and funding of Ringerike sykehus, the nearest general hospital, which is 170 km away. General practitioners under telephone supervision of the hospital specialists run the inpatient department. Six municipalities with 20,000 inhabitants make use of the community hospital. Statistics were obtained from the patient administration systems and from manual statistics continuously registered in 2009-10.
In 2009-10 the inpatient department, an intermediate care unit with 14 beds, had an average of 605 admissions a year, with a mean length of stay of 6.3 days. There were 455 acute admissions to Hallingdal sjukestugu. Forty per cent of these patients were younger than 67 and 36% were older than 80 years of age. Half were admitted for observation and half for treatment. The main diagnostic groups were infections, injuries and palliative care. Seventeen per cent of the acute admitted patients were later transferred to the general hospital for further work-up or treatment; 70% were discharged to their homes.
The experiences from Hallingdal sjukestugu indicate that it is feasible to give a selected group of patients an alternative to acute admissions to a general hospital.
Health care professionals in several countries are searching for alternatives to acute hospitalization. In Hallingdal, Norway, selected acute patients are admitted to a community hospital. The aim of this study was to analyse whether acute admission to a community hospital as an alternative to a general hospital had any positive or negative health consequences for the patients.
Patients intended for acute admission to the local community hospital were asked to join a randomized controlled trial. One group of the enrolled patients was admitted as planned (group 1, n = 33), while another group was admitted to the general hospital (group 2, n = 27). Health outcomes were measured by the Nottingham Extended Activity of Daily Living Questionnaire and by collection of data concerning specialist and community health care services in a follow-up year.
After one year, no statistical significant differences in the level of daily function was found between group 1 (admissions to the community hospital) and group 2 (admissions to the general hospital). Group 1 had recorded fewer in-patient days at hospitals and nursing homes, as well as lower use of home nursing, than group 2. For outpatient referrals, the trend was the opposite. However, the differences between the two groups were not at a 5% level of statistical significance.
No statistical significant differences at a 5% level were found related to health consequences between the two randomized groups. The study however, indicates a consistent trend of health benefits rather than risk from acute admissions to a community hospital, as compared to the general hospital. Emergency admission and treatment at a lower-level facility than the hospital thus appears to be a feasible solution for a selected group of patients.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01069107 . Registered 2 April 2010.
OBJECTIVE: To review appendectomy cases in children at a small community hospital and to compare with experience at larger centers. DESIGN: A five-year retrospective study. SETTING: Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau, Alaska. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Records of children age 14 and younger who underwent appendectomy from 1991 through 1996 were reviewed; 79 charts were found. Cases were grouped as simple appendicitis, advanced appendicitis, and appendectomy without appendicitis. Variables considered included: length of symptoms at first contact, time from onset until surgery, presence or absence of classical symptoms, post-operative complications, length of hospital stay. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: 51 cases (64.6%) of simple appendicitis, 22 cases (27.9%) of advanced disease, and 6 cases (7.6%) of normal appendix occurred. Advanced disease was high (66.7%) in children less than 5, and low (22.7%) in ages 10-14. Parental delay > 48 hours in seeking care was a significant factor in advanced disease, professional delay (time from first exam until surgery) was not. Post-surgical complications occurred in 7 (31.8%) cases of advanced disease and in none of the cases with simple appendicitis. Advanced disease cases had an average hospital stay of 8.59 days (+/-2.92) vs. 3.86 days (+/-1.46) for simple appendicitis. Review of appendicitis in children at this hospital compared favorably with the experience at larger medical centers.
Telecom-Bretagne, Ecole Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne, (LUSSI)/MARSOUIN/CREM, Département LUSSI, Logiques des Usages, Sciences Sociales et Sciences de l'Information, GET/ENST-Bretagne, Technopôle de Brest Iroise, CS 83818, 29238, Brest Cedex 3, France. email@example.com
This paper proposes a thorough framework for the economic evaluation of telemedicine networks. A standard cost analysis methodology was used as the initial base, similar to the evaluation method currently being applied to telemedicine, and to which we suggest adding subsequent stages that enhance the scope and sophistication of the analytical methodology. We completed the methodology with a longitudinal and stakeholder analysis, followed by the calculation of a break-even threshold, a calculation of the economic outcome based on net present value (NPV), an estimate of the social gain through external effects, and an assessment of the probability of social benefits. In order to illustrate the advantages, constraints and limitations of the proposed framework, we tested it in a paediatric cardiology tele-expertise network. The results demonstrate that the project threshold was not reached after the 4 years of the study. Also, the calculation of the project's NPV remained negative. However, the additional analytical steps of the proposed framework allowed us to highlight alternatives that can make this service economically viable. These included: use over an extended period of time, extending the network to other telemedicine specialties, or including it in the services offered by other community hospitals. In sum, the results presented here demonstrate the usefulness of an economic evaluation framework as a way of offering decision makers the tools they need to make comprehensive evaluations of telemedicine networks.