Trends in Postdischarge Mortality and Readmissions: Has Length of Stay Declined Too Far?

By | March 8, 2004

“Has hospital length of stay declined too far?” was the question examined by Center investigators, whose report on outcomes after hospitalizations during 1991-97 was published in the March 8th, 2004 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Post-discharge mortality and readmissions were monitored for 6 important medical conditions during a period of dramatic declines in lengths of stay (LOS). Overall, the results were encouraging – declining LOS did not appear to be associated with worse outcomes. However, postdischarge mortality rates increased among patients with DNR orders who were discharged rapidly, raising concerns about changing care for this especially vulnerable patient group.March 8th, 2004 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine