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J Pediatr. 1997 Feb;130(2):250-6.

Use of hospital-based services in the first three months of life: impact of an early discharge program.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH 45267, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effect of an early discharge program on the use of hospital-based health care services in the first 3 months of life.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Metropolitan university hospital and a children's hospital.

PATIENTS:

Term infants cared for in a single term nursery, before and after implementation of an early discharge program.

INTERVENTION:

Early discharge program.

METHODS:

Linking of the birth hospital and the children's hospital records and chart review.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pattern of emergency department visits and rehospitalizations in the first 3 months of life.

RESULTS:

The early discharge group had a shorter stay, 32 +/- 21 hours (mean +/- SD) than the control group (48 +/- 22 hours). There was no effect of early discharge on mean age at rehospitalization, rehospitalization rate, or reason for rehospitalization. Twenty-eight percent of infants in both study and control groups had at least one emergency department visit by 3 months of age. There was no difference between study and control groups in mean age or frequency of emergency department visits. Maternal age and race had a significant effect on the odds of visiting the emergency department. For any maternal age, nonwhite mothers were more likely to visit the emergency department.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early discharge of newborn infants to inner city parents can be accomplished without increasing hospital-based resource use in the first 3 months of life provided coordinated postdischarge care and home visiting services are available.

PMID:
9042128
DOI:
10.1016/s0022-3476(97)70351-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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