FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For inpatients, exposure to high bed-occupancy (capacity utilization) increases the risk of mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in BMC Health Services Research.

Narayan Sharma, Ph.D., from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective population-based analysis using routine administrative data from 1,152,506 inpatients from 102 Swiss general hospitals to examine the causal effect of time-varying high capacity utilization on 14-day in-hospital mortality.

For each participating hospital, the ≥85th percentile was used as the threshold for high capacity utilization for the higher risk of mortality. The researchers found that across hospitals, the mean bed-occupancy was 83.1 percent, varying from 42.1 to 95.9 percent between hospitals. The marginal structure model that used inverse probability of treatment weights for high and low capacity utilization to adjust for patient turnover and patient clinical complexity levels as time-varying confounders showed a 2 percent increase in the odds of 14-day in-hospital mortality for each additional day of exposure to high capacity utilization (odds ratio, 1.02).

“Hospital managers need both to understand the risk of high capacity utilization and to know when they reach their thresholds to reduce the volatility of capacity utilization and ensure that resources safely meet daily care demands,” the authors write.

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