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Study Reveals Factors Associated With Hospital Discharges Against Doctors’ Advice

Study reveals factors associated with hospital discharges against doctors’ advice

A new study has found that certain factors are linked with a person’s decision to leave the hospital against the advice of his or her care provider. Also, some of these factors are more pronounced in older versus younger individuals. The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, may help healthcare providers address this growing problem.

Discharge against medical advice is linked with an increased risk of hospital readmission, higher morbidity and mortality, and increased costs. To examine the factors involved, a team led by Jashvant Poeran, MD, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, analyzed national data on all US hospitalizations. They were especially interested in differences for patients aged ≥65 years compared with those aged 18-64 years.

Their analysis, which included more than 29 million hospital stays listed in the 2013 National Inpatient Sample, revealed that >50,000 older adults in the hospital (out of 12 million people under hospital care overall) left the hospital against medical advice that year; however, older men and women were 4 times less likely to do so than people aged 18-64 years. From 2003 to 2013, rates increased in…

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