Hospital Admissions from Nursing Homes: Rates and Reasons
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Hospital admissions from nursing homes have not previously been investigated in Norway. During 12 months all hospital admissions (acute and elective) from 32 nursing homes in Bergen were recorded via the Norwegian ambulance register. The principal diagnosis made during the stay, length of stay, and the ward were sourced from the hospital’s data register and data were merged. Altogether 1,311 hospital admissions were recorded during the 12 months. Admissions from nursing homes made up 6.1% of the total number of admissions to medical wards, while for surgical wards they made up 3.8%. Infections, fractures, cardiovascular and gastri-related diagnoses represented the most frequent admission diagnoses. Infections accounted for 25.0% of admissions, including 51.0% pneumonias. Of all the admissions, fractures were the cause in 10.2%. Of all fractures, hip fractures represented 71.7. The admission rate increased as the proportion of short-term beds increased, and at nursing homes with shortterm beds, admissions increased with increasing physician coverage. Potential reductions in hospitalizations for infections from nursing homes may play a role to reduce pressure on medical departments as may fracture prevention. Solely increasing physician coverage in nursing homes will probably not reduce the number of hospitalizations.