Determining when a hospital admission of an older person can be avoided in a subacute setting: a systematic review and concept analysis

Alyson L Huntley, Ben Davies, Nigel Jones, James Rooney, Peter Goyder, Sarah Purdy, Helen Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Objective To conduct a systematic review of the evidence for when a hospital admission for an older person can be avoided in subacute settings. We examined the definition of admission avoidance and the evidence for the factors that are required to avoid admission to hospital in this setting. Methods Using defined PICOD criteria, we conducted searches in three databases (Medline, Embase and Cinahl) from January 2006 to February 2018. References were screened by title and abstract followed by full paper screening by two reviewers. Additional studies were searched from the grey literature, experts in the field and forward and backward referencing. Data were narratively described, and concept analysis was used to investigate the definition of admission avoidance. Results A total of 17 studies were considered eligible for review; eight provided a definition of admission avoidance and 10 described admission avoidance criteria. We identified three factors which play a key role in admission avoidance in the subacute setting: (1) ambulatory care sensitive conditions and common medical scenarios for the older person, which included respiratory infections or pneumonia, urinary tract infections and catheter care, dehydration and associated symptoms, falls and behavioural management, and managing ongoing chronic conditions; (2) criteria/tools, referring to interventions that have used clinical expertise in conjunction with a range of general and geriatric triage tools; in condition-specific interventions, the decision whether to admit or not was based on level of risk determined by defined clinical tools; and (3) personnel and resources, referring to the need for experts to make the initial decision to avoid an admission. Supervision by nurses or physicians was still needed at subacute level, requiring resources such as short-stay beds, intravenous antibiotic treatment or fluids for rehydration and rapid access to laboratory tests. Conclusion<jats:p/> The review identified a set of criteria for ambulatory care sensitive conditions and common medical scenarios for the older person that can be treated in the subacute setting with appropriate tools and resources. This information can help commissioners and care providers to take on these important elements and deliver them in a locally designed way.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Services Research and Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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