Reducing hospital toxicity: impact on patient outcomes

Circadian rhythms are disrupted by routine hospital care. There is also a loss of personal control of health. This loss can lead to adverse outcomes. The authors evaluated 3,425 consecutive patients admitted to a medical-surgical unit with a control wing (n=2,240) and an intervention wing (n=2,240) over a 2.5 year period. Efforts were made among intervention patients for not disturbing their sleep by reducing nighttime noise, delay of routine phlebotomy to more convenient times (not at 4 AM), monitoring of passive vital signs, use of red enriched light after sunset, as well availability of daily health information through an online portal, including all the results of their laboratory tests. Control wing data was business as usual.

The results of the study revealed that intervention patients accessed the portal information frequently. The length of stay was 8.6 hours less in the intervention group. Re-admission rates after 30 and 90 days were 16% and 12%, respectively, lower in the same group. Self-rated mental health was higher (69.2% vs 52.4 %) in the intervention group compared with controls. All results were statistically significant.

Millani RV, Bober RM, Lavie CJ, Wilt JK, Milani AR, White CJ. Reducing hospital toxicity: impact on patient outcomes. Am J Med. 2018;131(8):961-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.04.013.

Reducing hospital toxicity: impact on patient outcomes

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