Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better scheduling of admissions can reduce crowding at children's hospitals

Date:
May 24, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Too many admissions at a hospital at one time can put patients at risk. A new study suggests that "smoothing" occupancy over the course of a week could help hospitals reduce crowding and protect patients from crowded conditions. The strategy involves controlling the entry of patients, when possible, to achieve more even levels of occupancy instead of the peaks and troughs that are commonly encountered.

Too many admissions at a hospital at one time can put patients at risk. A new study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine suggests that "smoothing" occupancy over the course of a week could help hospitals reduce crowding and protect patients from crowded conditions. The strategy involves controlling the entry of patients, when possible, to achieve more even levels of occupancy instead of the peaks and troughs that are commonly encountered.

Related Articles


Researchers gathered inpatient information from 39 children's hospitals during 2007, using it to compare weekday versus weekend occupancy and to model the impact that smoothing inpatient occupancy has on reducing variations in occupancy. While it is obvious that smoothing over the whole week will reduce peaks and raise troughs to average levels, the investigators sought to quantify just how large these differences are -- and thereby quantify the potential of smoothing to reduce inpatient crowding. If smoothing does not significantly reduce crowding, then other strategies might be of more value.

The analysis revealed that weekday occupancy exceeded weekend occupancy: hospitals' average occupancy ranged from 70.9% to 108.1% on weekdays, and 65.7% to 94.9% on weekends. After smoothing, each week's maximum occupancy within the hospitals was reduced by smoothing (by an average of 6.6 percentage points). Through smoothing, 39,607 patients from the 39 hospitals were removed from settings where occupancy levels exceeded 95%. To achieve within-week smoothing, a median of only 2.6% of admissions would have to be scheduled on a different day of the week; this equates to a median of 7.4 patients per week.

"Scheduled admissions contribute significantly to variability in occupancy at hospitals and raise the risk of mid-week crowding," said lead researcher Evan S. Fieldston, MD, of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USA. "Predictable patterns of admissions lead to high occupancy on some days and unused capacity on others, which can be addressed with proactive management of admissions." He suggested that by smoothing out variation and spacing scheduled admissions out over the week, hospitals can reduce crowding without delaying admissions or investing in expensive new beds. Also, currently, patients who are admitted on weekends experience more delays in treatment and have worse outcomes, so increasing the capability of hospitals to function more fully 7 days a week would make the system better and safer for all patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Evan S. Fieldston, Meera Ragavan, Bhuvaneswari Jayaraman, Kelly Allebach, Susmita Pati, Joshua P. Metlay. Scheduled admissions and high occupancy at a children's hospital. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 2011; 6 (2): 81 DOI: 10.1002/jhm.819

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Better scheduling of admissions can reduce crowding at children's hospitals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524070308.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, May 24). Better scheduling of admissions can reduce crowding at children's hospitals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524070308.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Better scheduling of admissions can reduce crowding at children's hospitals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110524070308.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins