Where to go if not the hospital? Reviewing geriatric bed utilization in an acute care hospital in Singapore.

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Singapore is one of the fastest-aging countries in the world, and the demand for acute hospital care for older adults is expected to triple in the next 25 years. Hence, it is crucial to understand the opportunities in reducing potentially avoidable bed days (PABD), which are days spent in acute hospitals delivering only non-acute services. We aimed to access the prevalence, causes and consequences of PABD among geriatric patients.


We examined all hospitalizations from 1 August through 31 December 2013 in the geriatric wards of an acute hospital in Singapore. PABD were identified using a modified Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol. Non-acute services were classified as subacute care, rehabilitative care, long-term care or social care. Hospitalization patterns were determined based on the presence or absence of non-acute services, and multinomial logistic regression was used to determine predictors of different patterns.


Of the 273 bed days used by 254 patients, 49% were potentially avoidable. The most common non-acute services provided were rehabilitative care (19%), subacute care (12%) and long-term care (8%). New acute issues arose after the admission conditions subsided in 2.4% of hospitalizations, 61% of which were nosocomial infections. Being socially at risk as assessed on admission predicted the development of new acute issues (sensitivity = 62%; specificity = 88%).


In the present study, almost half of the bed days were potentially avoidable. New acute issues can arise after PABD, which are dangerous to these frail older adults. Proactive discharge planning and increasing access to intermediate and long-term care services are required to reduce PABD. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 1575-1583.





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Zhou, Ke, Arpana R Vidyarthi, Chek Hooi Wong and David Matchar (2017). Where to go if not the hospital? Reviewing geriatric bed utilization in an acute care hospital in Singapore. Geriatrics & gerontology international, 17(10). pp. 1575–1583. 10.1111/ggi.12936 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22807.

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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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