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Evid Based Nurs 1:26 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.1.26
  • Economics

An acute care unit for elderly medical patients did not increase hospital costs

Objective

To determine the hospital costs of caring for medical patients in a special unit for older people designed to maintain or achieve independence in self care activities compared with usual ward care.

Design

Formal cost analysis of hospital costs taken from data in a randomised controlled trial.

Setting

The general medical service of a university hospital in the USA.

Patients

650 patients in hospital who were aged ≥ 70 years (mean age 80 y, 67% women, 41% non-white, 40% independent in activities of daily living [ADL] at admission). Patients admitted to the intensive care unit or subspecialty medical wards were excluded.

Intervention

All patients were assigned a primary nurse, house staff, and an attending physician. 326 patients were admitted to the acute care for elders unit and 324 to usual ward care. The …

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