Hospital characteristics affect outcomes for common pediatric surgical conditions

New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Coastal Area Health Education Center, Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-9025, USA.
The American surgeon (Impact Factor: 0.82). 09/2006; 72(8):739-45.
Source: PubMed


Appendicitis, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS), and intussusception are common conditions treated in most hospitals. In which hospital settings are children with these conditions treated? Are there differences in outcomes based on hospital characteristics? Our purpose was to use a nationwide database to address these questions. Data were extracted from Kids' Inpatient Database 2000. Data were queried by International Classification of Diseases procedure code for appendectomy and pyloromyotomy and by diagnosis code for intussusception. Length of stay (LOS) and hospital charges were analyzed based on hospital size, location, teaching status, and specialty designation. There were 73,618 appendectomies, with 5,910 (8%) in children's hospitals. Overall LOS was 3.1 days, and was the longest in children's hospitals (3.9). Overall charges were dollar 10,562, with the highest in children's hospitals (dollar 14,124). There were 11,070 pyloromyotomies, with 2,960 (27%) in children's hospitals. Overall LOS was 2.7 days, the shortest being in children's hospitals (2.5). Overall charges were dollar 7,938, with the highest in children's hospitals (dollar 8,676). There were 2,677 intussusceptions, with 921 (34%) in children's hospitals. Overall LOS was 3.0 days, the shortest being in children's hospitals (2.8). Overall charges were dollar 9,558, with the highest in children's hospitals (dollar 10,844). Most children with appendicitis, HPS, and intussusception are treated in nonspecialty hospitals. HPS (27%) and intussusception (34%) are more likely than appendicitis (8%) to be treated in children's hospitals. Children's hospitals have higher charges for all three conditions despite shorter LOS for HPS and intussusception.

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    • "Two of the studies also demonstrated that patients treated in pediatric environments had lower readmission rates. Two studies on pyloric stenosis found that length of stay was shorter for patients treated in pediatric environments, and one found that hospital charges were higher for those treated in pediatric environments [18] [21] [22]. Not one of these studies showed an advantage for treatment in a nonpediatric environment for either appendicitis or pyloric stenosis. "
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