Economic crisis: Cost and effectiveness of short stay hospital units

F. Epelde, M. L. Iglesias-Lepine, L. Anarte

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Background. Length of stay is the main determinant of the cost of hospitalization, which is why strategies must be implemented to reduce conventional hospital stays while maintaining quality levels. Short Stay Units (SSU) were created with the aim of reducing hospital stays in a certain group of patients and pathologies.The aim of this paper is to evaluate the literature on the evidence of decreased length of stay, efficiency, readmissions in the emergency department, cost-effectiveness, and mortality of these units. Methods. We made a systematic review of the literature, using the MeSH terms "Observation Unit", "Short- Stay Ward", "Monday to Friday Clinic", "Monday to Friday Surgery Ward", "Short Stay Hospitalization", "Alternative to Conventional Hospitalization", "Alternative Admissions" in the MEDLINE database, Web of Knowledge and the Cochrane Library from January 1 1960 to January 1 2012. The studies reviewed were selected according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Protocol. Results. The SSU made it possible in certain groups of patients to reduce the period of stay and maintain efficiency, showing no increases in emergency readmissions or mortality. Conclusions. The SSU can be an instrument to reduce the cost of the health process in a certain group of pathologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)469-475
    JournalAnales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


    • Alternative to hospitalization
    • Short stay unit


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