The relationship between workload and length of stay in Singapore.

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Prior studies link higher workload with longer length of stay (LOS) in the US. Unlike U.S. hospitals, Singaporean hospitals, like other major hospitals in the Asia-Pacific, are partially occupied by patients with non-acute needs due to insufficient alternative facilities. We examined the association between workload and length of stay (LOS) and the impact of workload on 30-day re-hospitalization and inpatient mortality rates in retrospective cohort in this setting. We defined workload as the daily number of patients per physician team. 13,097 hospitalizations of 10,000 patients were included. We found that higher workload was associated with shorter LOS (coefficient, -0.044 [95%CI, -0.083, -0.01]), especially for patients with longer stays (hazard ratios, not significantly greater than 1 before Day 4, 1.04 [95%CI, 1.01, 1.07] at Day 4 and 1.16 [95%CI, 1.10, 1.24] at Day 10), without affecting inpatient mortality (odds ratio (OR), 1.03 [95%CI, 0.99, 1.05]) or 30-day re-hospitalization (OR, 1.01 [95%CI, 0.99, 1.04]). This result differs from studies in the US and may reflect regional differences in the use of acute hospital beds for non-acute needs.





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Zhou, Ke, Arpana Vidyarthi, David Matchar, Yin Bun Cheung, Shao Wei Lam and Marcus Ong (2018). The relationship between workload and length of stay in Singapore. Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 122(7). pp. 769–774. 10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.04.002 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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