Inappropriate hospital admission according to patient intrinsic risk factors: an epidemiological approach

D. San Jose-Saras, J. Vicente-Guijarro, P. Sousa, P. Moreno-Nunez, M. Espejo-Mambié, J. M. Aranaz-Andres

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Background: Inappropriate hospital admissions compromise the efficiency of the health care system. This work analyzes, for the first time, the prevalence of inappropriate admission and its association with clinical and epidemiological patient characteristics. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence, associated risk factors, and economic impact of inappropriate hospital admissions. Design and Participants: This was a cross-sectional observational study of all hospitalized patients in a high complexity hospital of over 901 beds capacity in Spain. The prevalence of inappropriate admission and its causes, the association of inappropriateness with patients’ intrinsic risk factors (IRFs), and associated financial costs were analyzed with the Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol in a multivariate model. Main Measures and Key Results: A total of 593 patients were analyzed, and a prevalence of inappropriate admissions of 11.9% (95% CI: 9.5 to 14.9) was found. The highest number of IRFs for developing health care-related complications was associated with inappropriateness, which was more common among patients with 1 IRF (OR [95% CI]: 9.68 [3.6 to 26.2.] versus absence of IRFs) and among those with surgical admissions (OR [95% CI]: 1.89 [1.1 to 3.3] versus medical admissions). The prognosis of terminal disease reduced the risk (OR [95% CI]: 0.28 [0.1 to 0.9] versus a prognosis of full recovery based on baseline condition). Inappropriate admissions were responsible for 559 days of avoidable hospitalization, equivalent to €17,604.6 daily and €139,076.4 in total, mostly attributable to inappropriate emergency admissions (€96,805.3). Conclusions: The prevalence of inappropriate admissions is similar to the incidence found in previous studies and is a useful indicator in monitoring this kind of overuse. Patients with a moderate number of comorbidities were subject to a higher level of inappropriateness. Inappropriate admission had a substantial and avoidable financial impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1663
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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