Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Short-stay admissions at an inner city hospital: a cross-sectional analysis
  1. Ian Pope1,
  2. Sharif Ismail1,
  3. Benjamin Bloom1,
  4. Gwyneth Jansen2,
  5. Helen Burn3,
  6. David McCoy4,
  7. Tim Harris1
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2 School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  3. 3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, UK
  4. 4 Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian Pope, Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal London Hospital, London, UK; ianpope{at}


Objective To investigate factors predictive of short hospital admissions and appropriate placement to inpatient versus clinical decision units (CDUs).

Method This is a retrospective analysis of attendance and discharge data from an inner-city ED in England for December 2013. The primary outcome was admission for less than 48 hours either to an inpatient unit or CDU. Variables included: age, gender, ethnicity, deprivation score, arrival date and time, arrival method, admission outcome and discharge diagnosis. Analysis was performed by cross-tabulation followed by binary logistic regression in three models using the outcome measures above and seeking to identify factors associated with short-stay admission.

Results There were 2119 (24%) admissions during the study period and 458 were admitted for less than 24 hours. Those who were admitted in the middle of the week or with ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) were significantly more likely to experience short-stays. Older patients and those who arrived by ambulance were significantly more likely to have a longer hospital stay. There was no association of length of inpatient stay with being admitted in the last 10 min of a 4 hours ED stay.

Conclusion Only a few factors were independently predictive of short stays. Patients with ACSCs were more likely to have short stays, regardless of whether they were admitted to CDU or an inpatient ward. This may be a group of patients that could be targeted for dedicated outpatient management pathways or CDU if they need admission.

  • admission avoidance
  • emergency care systems
  • emergency department

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors IP, DM and TH initiated the project, designed the study and specified the data collection protocol. IP and GJ collected the data. SI cleaned and transformed the data, incorporated new variables and performed the statistical analysis. IP and SI drafted and revised the manuscript. DM, BB, HB and TH commented on and revised the manuscript.

  • Competing interests SAI, IP, DM, BB, GJ and TH have support from Barts Health NHS Trust for the submitted work

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The full anonymised data set is available upon request from the authors.