see also Long length of stay.
Schipmann et al. performed a systematic literature review on quality indicators (QIs) that are presently used in this field, aiming to elucidate which QIs are scientifically founded and thus potentially justifiable as measures of quality. They found a total of 8 QIs, and methodologically evaluated published studies according to the AIRE (Appraisal of Indicators through Research and Evaluation) criteria. These criteria include length of hospital stay, all-cause readmission rate, and unplanned reoperation rate 1).
Reducing length of stay (LOS) in a safe manner has the potential to save significant costs for the care of patients undergoing elective lumbar spine surgery. Due to the relative absence on weekends of staff required for discharging patients to rehabilitation or nursing facilities, Sivaganesan et al. hypothesized that patients undergoing lumbar surgery later in the week have a longer LOS than their counterparts.
Patients undergoing surgery for lumbar degenerative disease were prospectively enrolled in the multicenter quality and outcomes database registry. A multivariable proportional odds regression model was built with LOS as the outcome of interest and patient and surgical variables as covariates.
A total of 11 897 patients were analyzed. Among those discharged home, the regression analysis demonstrated significantly higher odds of longer LOS for patients undergoing surgery on Friday as compared to Monday (P < .001). Among those discharged to a facility, there were significantly higher odds of longer LOS for patients undergoing surgery on Wednesday (P < .001), Thursday (P < .001), and Friday (P = .002) as compared to Monday.
The findings of this study suggest that lumbar patients undergoing fusions and those discharged to a facility have longer LOS when surgery is later in the week. Scheduling these patients for surgery earlier in the week and ensuring adequate resources for patient disposition on weekends may lead to LOS reduction and cost savings for hospitals, payers, and patients alike 2).
Using a comprehensive all-payer cohort of patients with brain tumors in New York State, Missios and Bekelis identified wide disparities at the hospital and the county level despite comprehensive risk-adjustment. Increased charges were not associated with shorter length of stay (LOS), or lower rates of death and unfavorable discharge 3).