“Peas in a Pod”: Clustering minorly injured trauma patients together during their hospitalization results in decreased hospital costs and fewer inpatient complications

Zachary M. Bauman, Sophie Cemaj, Neesha Patel, Ashley Raposo-Hadley, Karen Saxton, Charity H. Evans, Brett Waibel, Emily Cantrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Trauma patient care is complex. Clustering these patients within the hospital seems intuitive. This study's purpose was to explore the benefits of trauma patient clustering, hypothesizing these patients will have decreased costs and better outcomes. Methods: This was an analysis of all adult (18–99 years) trauma patients admitted from 1/2017–1/2019 without an intensive care unit stay. Patients were grouped into those admitted to the trauma unit (TU) versus non-trauma units (NTU). Outcomes evaluated between groups were baseline demographics, direct costs, complication rates (using our TQIP registry), and discharge location. T-test, median test, and chi squared test were used. Linear regression was performed. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: 1481 patients (684 TU and 797 NTU) were analyzed. TU patients were younger. Injury Severity Score, mortality, and hospital length of stay were similar between groups. Direct hospital costs were decreased for TU patients ($4941(±$4740) versus $5639(±$4897), p = 0.006). Fewer TU patients experienced inpatient complications (7.8% versus 13.5%, p < 0.001). More TU patients were discharged to home (78.9% versus 73.8%, p = 0.02). Linear regression analysis demonstrated admission to NTUs predicted a direct cost increase of $766.35 (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Clustering minorly injured trauma patients on a dedicated unit resulted in reduced costs, decreased complications, and higher likelihood for discharge to home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Volume224
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Complications
  • Direct costs
  • Disposition
  • Trauma unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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