OBJECTIVES: To develop a pragmatic method of identifying long-stay patients (LSPs) in the PICU.METHODS: We surveyed 40 expert stakeholders in 14 Canadian PICUs between February 2015 and March 2015 to identify key factors to use for defining LSPs in the PICU. We then describe a pragmatic method using these factors to analyze 523 admissions to an academic, tertiary-care PICU from February 1, 2015, to January 31, 2016.RESULTS: The overall response rate was 70% (28 of 40). Of respondents, 75% (21of 28) stated that it was important to define LSPs and identified present and future resource consumption (18 of 21 [86%] and 16 of 21 [76%], respectively) as the key reasons for defining LSPs. Respondents valued a definition that was consistent and ranked a percentile cutoff as the preferred analytic method for defining LSPs. Of respondents, 86% (24 of 28) though the LSP definition should include factors other than length of stay. We developed a surrogate marker for LSPs using mechanical ventilation and presence of a central venous catheter in our sample population to compare to varying percentile cutoffs. We identified 108 patients at the 80th percentile as LSPs who used 67% of total bed days and had a median length of stay of 11.3 days.CONCLUSIONS: We present a pragmatic method for the retrospective identification of LSPs in the PICU that incorporates unit- and/or patient-specific characteristics. The next steps would be to validate this method using other patient and/or unit characteristics in different PICUs and over time.

Hospital pediatrics
Department of Economics

Woodger, O. (Owen), Menon, K. (Kusum), Yazbeck, M. (Myra), & Acharya, A. (2018). A Pragmatic Method for Identification of Long-Stay Patients in the PICU. Hospital pediatrics, 8(10), 636–642. doi:10.1542/hpeds.2018-0077