BACKGROUND: No study has explored the volume-outcome relationship for peptic ulcer treatment. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between peptic ulcer case volume per hospital, on the one hand, and in-hospital mortality and 14-day readmission rates, on the other, using a nationwide population-based dataset. DESIGN: A retrospective cross-sectional study, set in Taiwan. PARTICIPANTS: There were 48,250 peptic ulcer patients included. Each patient was assigned to one of three hospital volume groups: low-volume (< or = 189 case), medium volume (190-410 cases), and high volume (> or = 411 cases). MEASUREMENTS: Logistic regression analysis employing generalized estimating equations was used to examine the adjusted relationship of hospital volume with in-hospital mortality and 14-day readmission. MAIN RESULTS: After adjusting for other factors, results showed that the likelihood of in-hospital mortality for peptic ulcer patients treated by low-volume hospitals (mortality rate = 0.68%) was 1.6 times (p < 0.05) that of those treated in high-volume hospitals (mortality rate = 0.72%) and 1.4 times (p < 0.05) that of those treated in medium-volume hospitals (mortality rate = 0.73%). The adjusted odds ratio of 14-day readmission likewise declined with increasing hospital volume, with the odds of 14-day readmission for those patients treated by low-volume hospitals being 1.5 times (p < 0.001) greater than for high-volume hospitals and 1.3 times (p < 0.01) greater than for medium-volume hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: We found that, after adjusting for other factors, peptic ulcer patients treated in the low-volume hospitals had inferior clinical outcomes compared to those treated in medium-volume or high-volume ones.
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