Key findings: Potentially preventable hospitalisations by condition
Variation in hospital bed days by condition
Nationally, the percentage of same-day potentially preventable hospitalisations varies substantially by condition. In 2013–14, only 8% of admissions for COPD and heart failure were same-day admissions. In comparison, 26% of patients admitted for diabetes complications and 23% of patients with kidney and urinary tract infections were discharged on the same day (Table 3).
Some of this variation may be due to differences in the severity and treatment of these five conditions. However, variation may also be due to differences in hospital admission policies and practices.
Strategies for reducing the length of time patients spend in hospital for a potentially preventable hospitalisation may target these shorter stay hospitalisations, in particular, same-day hospitalisations, which may be able to be treated more effectively within the primary health care sector.
Strategies for reducing the length of time patients spend in hospital for a potentially preventable hospitalisation may also target longer multi-day stay hospitalisations, in particular by improving the coordination of care at the time of discharge.
Nationally, the average length of stay among multi-day stay patients (that is, excluding same-day hospitalisations) varied substantially by condition. In 2013–14, the average length of stay for multi-day stay patients ranged from 4.7 days for kidney and urinary tract infections to 7.3 days for heart failure (Table 3).
Information on variation across PHNs and local areas (SA3s) for same-day hospitalisations and average length of stay is available at http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au. While the average length of stay of patients varies by condition, it also varies between hospitals. A previous report released by the Authority found differences across similar hospitals in the length of stay for patients with the same condition (Appendix 3).
Table 3: Potentially preventable hospitalisation rates and time spent in hospital, by condition, Australia, 2013–14
|Condition||Age-standardised rate per 100,000||Average length of stay (includes same-day hospitalisations)||Average length of stay (excludes same-day hospitalisations)||Percentage of PPH same day*|
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)||239||5.7||6.1||8%|
|Kidney and urinary tract infections (UTIs)||279||3.9||4.7||23%|
* Admitted patients who are admitted to hospital and discharged on the same day as a percentage of potentially preventable hospitalisations.
Notes: There are 22 conditions for which a hospitalisation is considered to be potentially preventable. Hospitalisations from both public and private hospitals are included.
Bed days are the number of days an admitted patient is in hospital. A patient admitted and discharged on the same day is allocated one bed day.
More information on the categories of remoteness and socioeconomic status can be found at http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au and in this report’s Technical Supplement and Glossary.
Sources: National Health Performance Authority analysis of Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set 2013–14, data supplied March 2015; and Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population 30 June 2013.