Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2009;121(1-2):34-40. doi: 10.1007/s00508-008-1019-0.

Patient volume affects outcome in critically ill patients.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Statistics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. philipp.metnitz@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

CONTEXT:

A positive relationship between patient volume and outcome has been demonstrated for a variety of clinical conditions and procedures, but the evidence is sparse for critically ill patients.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the relationship between patient volume and outcome in a large cohort of critically ill patients.

DESIGN:

Prospective multicenter cohort study, January 1998 through December 2005.

SETTING:

40 intensive care units in Austria.

PATIENTS:

A total of 83,259 consecutively admitted patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Structural quality of participating ICUs was evaluated using a questionnaire and merged with the prospectively collected data. Volume related indices were then calculated, representing patient turnover, occupancy rate, nursing workload and diagnostic variability.

RESULTS:

Univariate analysis revealed that several volume variables were associated with outcome: more patients treated per year per bed in the intensive care unit and more patients treated in the same diagnostic category reduced the risk of dying in the hospital (odds ratios, 0.967 and 0.991 for each additional 10 patients treated, respectively). In contrast, an increase in the patient-to-nurse ratio and an increase in the number of diagnostic categories were associated with increased mortality rates. Multivariate analysis confirmed these results. The relationship between the number of patients treated in the same diagnostic category and their outcomes showed not a linear but a U shape, with increasing mortality rates below and above a certain patient volume.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results provide evidence for a relationship between patient volume and outcome in critically ill patients. Besides the total number of patients, diagnostic variability plays an important role. The relationship between volume and outcome seems, however, to be complex and to be influenced by other variables, such as workload of nursing staff.

Comment in

PMID:
19263012
DOI:
10.1007/s00508-008-1019-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center