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Lack of Reliable Data Hinders Reporting on Delayed Discharges in Irish Hospitals

The Irish Examiner writes the lack of robust data means the independent expert review of delayed discharges in Ireland is also unable to produce a costed implementation plan, citing the unreliability of the data available. The review said the current weekly national delayed discharge report is not fit for purpose. In the absence of complete data, the working group applied a Dutch measurement model which identified almost eight times the number of delayed discharges in Irish hospitals in 2017 than the number actually recorded — 67,149 compared to 8,817.  The absence of a clear national policy and consistent approach regarding delayed discharges has resulted in significant under-reporting, inhibiting implementation of measures to manage the deficit.  The review said there is a disincentive for public hospitals to classify private patients as delayed discharges because private insurers often cease paying when this happens.

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