Each year more than 25% of nursing home patients are transferred to the emergency department or hospital for evaluation and treatment of infection. These transfers may have an adverse impact on the quality and cost of patient care. This study examined physician assessment and management of acute infections in the nursing home.
A cross-sectional study was conducted of all acute urinary tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections occurring from February through June 1991 in eight randomly selected urban nursing homes. The numbers of transfers to the emergency department or hospital were recorded along with identification of the clinical, psychosocial, and institutional factors that influenced the physician's decision to transfer.
Three hundred fifty-nine patients had 258 urinary tract infections and 219 respiratory tract infections. Eighty-one (17%) of these events resulted in transfer to a hospital for evaluation (16/81) and/or admission (65/81). Less than one third (30.4%) of the events caused the patient to be examined in the nursing home by a physician before the decision to transfer to the hospital. The mean time between the staff notification of an acute event and physician response by telephone was 5.12 hours. Independent mobility (P≤.05), a transfer to the hospital during the previous 6 months (P≤.01), and fewer nursing home laboratory tests and treatments (P≤.01) were all associated with hospital transfer.
In this sample of acutely ill nursing home patients, physicians collected limited clinical data before the decision to transfer. Although some transfers may be appropriate, a reduction in the transfer rate may reduce health care costs and limit the risk of iatrogenesis, thus improving the outcome of acute illnesses occurring in the nursing home.(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:902-908)
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 60
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.