Declining length of hospital stay for pneumonia and postdischarge outcomes.Am J Med. 2008 Oct; 121(10):845-52.AJ
This study was designed to assess 8-year trends in the duration of hospitalization for community-acquired pneumonia and to evaluate the impact of declining length of stay on postdischarge short-term readmission and mortality.
We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of 1886 patients with community-acquired pneumonia who were discharged from a single hospital between March 1, 2000, and June 30, 2007. The main outcomes measured were all-cause mortality and hospital readmission during the 30-day period after discharge. Regression models were used to identify risk factors associated with hospital length of stay and the adjusted associations between length of stay and mortality and readmission.
Factors associated with a longer hospital stay included the number of comorbid conditions, high risk classification on the Pneumonia Severity Index, bilateral or multilobe radiographic involvement, and treatment failure. Patients treated with an appropriate antibiotic were less likely to have an increased length of stay. The mean length of stay was significantly shorter during the 2006 to 2007 period (3.6 days) than during the 2000 to 2001 period (5.6 days, P<.001). Despite the reduction in length of stay, there were no significant differences in the likelihood of death or readmission at 30 days between the 2 time periods. Adjusted multivariate analysis showed that patients with hospital stays less than 3 days did not have significant increases in postdischarge outcomes.
The marked decreased in the length of stay for patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia since 2000 has not been accompanied by an increase in short-term mortality or hospital readmission.