Mental illness-related disparities in length of stay: algorithm choice influences results.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Mental illness (Analysis)
Veterans (Health aspects)
Hospitals, Veterans' (Management)
Medical records (Usage)
Author: Frayne, Susan M.
Pub Date: 12/30/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development Publisher: Department of Veterans Affairs Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs ISSN: 0748-7711
Issue: Date: Dec 30, 2010 Source Volume: 47 Source Issue: 8
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management
Product: Product Code: E198380 Veterans; 8068000 Veterans & Military Hospitals NAICS Code: 62211 General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 246450386

Researchers often use Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data to understand the care veterans receive when admitted to a VHA hospital. However, these data must be used correctly. We found that patients with mental health conditions consistently have longer average length of stay when admitted but the choice of algorithm used to calculate length of stay from VHA data affects conclusions about the size of this difference. Our findings will help researchers properly tailor algorithms for calculating length of stay. This will lead to more accurate results in future studies used to guide strategic planning initiatives to improve VHA inpatient healthcare delivery.

Susan M. Frayne, MD, MPH, et al.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.