In-patient workload in medical specialties: 1. Demographic profiles and time trends from linked statistics.
Goldacre MJ., Ferguson JA.
Admission rates, multiple admissions per individual and time spent in hospital in general medical and geriatric care are described using data from the Oxford Record Linkage Study from 1968-86. For patients aged 15-39 years, age-specific admission rates did not vary appreciably with age and were a little higher in women than in men. For patients aged 40 years and over, admission rates rose steeply with age and were considerably higher in men than in women. Admission rates, measured as episodes, increased over time by 3.4% per year in women and 3.7% in men. Measured as individual people admitted per year, they increased by 2.2% per year people in women and 2.6% in men. Expressed as age-standardized rates, they increased by 1.5% per year in women and 1.8% in men. The greater rise in episodes than in people treated reflected an increase in repeat admissions per patient admitted. Mean length of stay per hospital episode and total time spent in hospital per patient admitted per year both showed a consistent decline over time. Increases in admission rates were seen in all of the common broad clinical groupings studied, except infectious diseases which, as a group, showed a mean annual decrease of just over 2% per year.