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ESRI Report Finds Hospital Stays for Older People Shorter in Areas with Better Supply of Home Care, Residential Care Services

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There is a clear link between older patients’ hospital stay duration and the supply of home care and long-term residential care in their area, according to newly published research in Ireland by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The report – An analysis of the effects on Irish hospital care of the supply of care inside and outside the hospital – analysed how care supply within hospital (hospital beds) and outside of the hospital affects hospital stay duration. The analysis of older peoples’ care services linked data on all emergency (non-elective) public hospital admissions from 2010 to 2015 with data on local supply of home care and residential care.

The research examined whether patients aged over 65 in areas with better home care and residential care supply are discharged more quickly from hospital, holding constant patient characteristics such as age and diagnosis. A key finding from the report: Older patients from areas with more home care and residential care (e.g. nursing homes) had shorter hospital stays. Improving home care and residential care can in part help reduce hospital stays for some patients.

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