Study: Reduced Lengths of Stay for Patients with End Stage Kidney Disease Treated by DaVita Hospital Services
Patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) spend on average approximately 11 days in the hospital each year. Although dialysis is a moderate risk procedure for patients with ESKD who are admitted to hospitals, complications such as infections may affect patient outcomes, including quality of life, and subsequently lengthen hospital stay duration. In our efforts to continuously improve clinical outcomes and experience for our patients receiving inpatient dialysis, DaVita Hospital Services measured mean length of stay (LOS) for our partner hospitals as compared with other short-term acute care hospitals.
In this study approximately 500,000 ESKD patient admissions from January 2017 through September 2019 across DaVita partner hospitals and other acute care hospitals were analyzed. Both hospital groups had similar reasons for admission and patient demographics.
The results demonstrated that DaVita partner hospitals had a 3.85% to 3.95% lower mean LOS (averaged over all months) compared to all other hospitals studied (see graph below). This means that for every 30 hospitalizations, Hospital Services patients are spending 10 fewer days in the hospital.
The results also demonstrated that DaVita partner hospitals outperformed the others in terms of LOS, regardless of the following three key parameters:
- Hospital type (academic institutions or level 1 trauma centers)
- Size of hospital (more than 400 beds or 400 beds or fewer)
- Source of hemodialysis (insourced with hospitals providing their own dialysis or outsourced)
Shorter hospital stays not only improve quality of life for dialysis patients but increase capacity and reduce costs for the hospital, as well.