Influence of prolonged hospitalization on overall bed occupancy: a five-year single-centre study

M. Quinn, A.E. Courtney, Damian Fogarty, Dermot O'Reilly, Christopher Cardwell, P.T. McNamee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Effective bed use is crucial to an efficient NHS. Current targets suggest a decrease in mean occupancy as the most appropriate method of improving overall efficiency. The elderly and those suffering from complex medical problems are thought to account for a high proportion of overall bed occupancy.

Aim: To assess the effect of prolonged hospital stay (>100 days) on overall bed occupancy in a modern teaching hospital.

Design: Retrospective analysis.

Methods: Analysis of all admission episodes (n = 117 178) over a five-year period in a large teaching hospital in a single UK region, serving a population of approximately 200 000. A logistic regression multi-factorial model was used to assess the effect of demographic and diagnostic variables on duration of stay.

Results: A prolonged stay (>100 days) was seen in 648 admission episodes (0.6%). These accounted for 11% of the overall bed occupancy over the 5-year period. Excluding all prolonged admission episodes from our analysis made no difference to the overall median length of stay.

Discussion: Prolonged hospitalizations have a significant impact on bed occupancy. Targeting these very long (>100 days) hospital stays may better improve overall efficiency, compared to targeting mean or median length of stay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-566
Number of pages6
JournalQJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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