Monitoring adverse events in older hospitalized patients: A retrospective cross-sectional study using validated screening criteria with administrative data

Stacy A. Ackroyd-Stolarz, Susan K. Bowles, Lorri Giffin


Objective: Older patients are at higher risk of experiencing an adverse event (AE) during an acute hospitalization. The objective of the current study was to use routinely collected administrative data to characterize AEs and their system-level impact for older patients hospitalized in one Canadian health authority.
Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study occurred in the Capital District Health Authority in Nova Scotia, Canada between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. The primary outcome was identification of pressure ulcers, fall-related injuries and adverse drug events in patients 65 years of age and older admitted to an acute inpatient service. AEs were identified using validated screening criteria. Data were analyzed using standard descriptive statistics.
Results: There were 11,747 hospitalizations during the study period. A total of 330 (2.8%) AEs in 325 patients were identified using the screening criteria. This included 55 (16.7% of 330) pressure ulcers, 25 (7.6%) fall-related injuries and 250 (75.8%) adverse drug events. The average length of stay was significantly higher in patients with a pressure ulcer (35.8 ± 47.3 vs. 9.0 ± 14.8 days, p < .0001), fall-related injury (30.3 ± 23.2 vs. 9.0 ± 15.2 days, p < .0001), or adverse drug event (14.6 ± 14.4 vs. 9.0 ± 15.2 days, p < .0001) during their acute hospitalization.
Conclusions:Use of validated screening criteria with administrative hospitalization data provides important information for monitoring the system-level impact of common AEs in older patients. Significant and clinically important differences in healthcare utilization underscore the value in monitoring these AEs in this growing patient population.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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