Assessing length of stay and associated characteristics of geriatric patients in Northern Ireland

Janette McQuillan, A. H. Marshall, Karen Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effective provision of care for the elderly is becoming increasingly more difficult. This is due to the rising proportion of elderly in the population, increasing demands placed on the health services and the financial strain placed on an already stretched economy. The research presented in this paper uses three different models to represent the length of stay distribution of geriatric patients admitted to one of the six key acute hospitals in Northern Ireland and various patient characteristics associated with their respective length of stay. The accurate modelling of bed usage within wards would enable hospital managers to prepare patient discharge packages and rehabilitation services in advance. The models presented within the paper include a Cox proportional hazards model, a Bayesian network with a discrete variable to represent length of stay and a special conditional phase-type model (C-Ph) with a connecting outcome node. This research demonstrates the new efficient fitting algorithm employed for Coxian phase-type distributions while updating C-Ph models for recent elderly patient data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Systems
Issue numbernull
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Coxian phase-type distributions
  • elderly patients
  • healthcare


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