BACKGROUND: Hospitals are constantly being challenged to provide high-quality care despite ageing populations, diminishing resources, and budgetary restraints. While the costs of care depend on the patients' needs, it is not clear which patient characteristics are associated with the demand for care and inherent costs. The aim of this study was to ascertain which patient-related characteristics or models can predict the need for medical and nursing care in general hospital settings.<br /><br />METHODS: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, Business Source Premier and CINAHL. Pre-defined eligibility criteria were used to detect studies that explored patient characteristics and health status parameters associated to the use of hospital care services for hospitalized patients. Two reviewers independently assessed study relevance, quality with the STROBE instrument, and performed data analysis.<br /><br />RESULTS: From 2,168 potentially relevant articles, 17 met our eligibility criteria. These showed a large variety of factors associated with the use of hospital care services; models were found in only three studies. Age, gender, medical and nursing diagnoses, severity of illness, patient acuity, comorbidity, and complications were the characteristics found the most. Patient acuity and medical and nursing diagnoses were the most influencing characteristics. Models including medical or nursing diagnoses and patient acuity explain the variance in the use of hospital care services for at least 56.2%, and up to 78.7% when organizational factors were added.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: A larger variety of factors were found to be associated with the use of hospital care services. Models that explain the extent to which hospital care services are used should contain patient characteristics, including patient acuity, medical or nursing diagnoses, and organizational and staffing characteristics, e.g., hospital size, organization of care, and the size and skill mix of staff. This would enable healthcare managers at different levels to evaluate hospital care services and organize or reorganize patient care.
Van Oostveen, C. J., Ubbink, D. T., Huis In Het Veld, J. G., Bakker, P. J., & Vermeulen, H. (2014, May 30). Factors and models associated with the amount of hospital care services as demanded by hospitalized patients: A systematic review. PLoS ONE. Public Library of Science. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098102