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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1993;26(4): 650-660.
The epidemiology of delays in a teaching hospital.
Yoon Kim, Kun Sei Lee, Chang Yup Kim, Yong Ik Kim, Young Soo Shin, Sang Il Lee
1Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Korea.
This study aims to describe the causes of medically unnecessary hospital stay at a teaching tertiary hospital, using modified version of Delay Tool in which the causes of delay are divided into six major categories ; delay related to test scheduling, test results, surgery, medical staff, patient/family, and administration. For the analysis of hospital stay, 6,479 inpatient-days were reviewed in two medical and four surgical departments for one month. Initially inappropriate hospital stays were identified using Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol(AEP), and causes of delay listed in Delay Tool were assigned to each of them. In both medical and surgical services, the most important cause of delay was related to medical staffs, ranging from 3.6% to 51.6% of total inpatient days. Next important category was delay related to test scheduling in medical services(4.7~9.2%), and delay related to surgery in surgical services(7.3~15.0%). Among subcategories of delay related to medical staffs, delay due to conservative care was the most important cause of inappropriate hospital stay(2.9~46.4%). Each clinical departments had different distribution among delay categories, which could not be fully justified by their clinical characteristics. The Delay Tool would be helpful in exploring factors related to the inefficient use of hospital beds. As a measurement tool of inappropriate hospital stay, however, the Delay Tool should be refined in the definitions of categories and its contents.
Key words: appropriateness of hospital stays; delay tool
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