This study evaluated the severity of illness of patients experiencing inpatient hospital complications in two hospitals in the metropolitan area of Syracuse, New York. It involved identification of inpatient complications by All Patients Refined (APR) severity of illness for pneumonia, clostridium difficile colitis, and urinary tract infection. Severity of illness was identified for each patient at the time of admission. The study showed that patients at the two highest levels of severity of illness, Major and Extreme, accounted for 76-93 percent of those with the three complications evaluated. These patients comprised less than 40 percent of the inpatient populations of the hospitals. At the same time, the study showed that only 0-23 percent of patients at Minor or Moderate severity of illness experienced inpatient complications. These low severity of illness categories accounted for 60 percent or more of inpatients in the Syracuse hospitals. Results of the study suggested that efforts to reduce hospital inpatient complications could focus on those patients with high severity of illness. They also suggested that these efforts could largely avoid patients with low severity of illness and, as a result, save clinical and quality assurance resources in hospitals.
Cite this paper
Lagoe, R. , Czyz, A. , Bick, J. and Littau, S. (2013) Hospital inpatient complications and severity of illness. Open Journal of Nursing
, 5-12. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.38A002
 Iezzoni, L.I., Daley, J., Heeren, T., Foley, S.M., Fisher, E.S., Duncan, C., Hughes, J.S. and Coffman, G.A. (1994) Identifying complications of care using administrative data. Medical Care, 32, 700-715. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005650-199407000-00004
 Hughes, J.S., Averill, R.F., Goldfield, N.I., Gay, J., Muldoon, J., McCullough, E.C. and Xiang, J. (2006) Identifying potentially preventable complications using a present on admissions indicator. Health Care Financing Review, 27, 63-82.
 Fuller, R.L., McCullough, E.C., Bao, M. and Averill, R.F. (2009) Estimating the costs of potentially preventable hospital acquired complications. Health Care Financing Review, 30, 17-32.
 Zegers, M., deBruijne, M.C., Wagner, C., Hoonhout, L.H.F., Waaijman, R. and Smits, M. (2009) Adverse events and potentially preventable deaths in Dutch Hospitals: results of a retrospective review study. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 18, 297-302. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/qshc.2007.025924
 Averill, R.F., McCullough, E.C., Hughes, J.S., Goldfield, N.I., Vertrees, J.C. and Fuller, R.L. (2009) Redesigning the Medicare inpatient PPS to reduce payments for hospitals with high readmission rates. Health Care Financing Review, 30, 1-15.
 Hoonhout, L.H., deBruijne, M.C., Wagner, C., Zegers, M., Waaijman, R., Spreeuwenberg, P., Asscheman, H., van der Wal, G. and Tulder van, M.W. (2009) Direct medical costs of adverse events in Dutch hospitals. BMC Health Services Research, 9, 27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-9-27
 Rau, J. (2012) Medicare to penalize 2211 hospitals for excess readmissions. Kaiser Health News.
 Calikoglu, S., Murray, R. and Feeney, D. (2012) Hospital pay for performance programs in Maryland produced strong results—Including reduced hospital acquired conditions. Health Affairs, 31, 2649-2657. http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0357
 Lagoe, R.J., Murphy, M.E. and Johnson, P.J. (2011) Inpatient hospital complications and lengths of stay: A short report. BMC Research Notes, 4, 135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-4-135
 Lagoe, R.J. and Westert, G.P. (2010) Evaluation of hospital inpatient complications: A planning approach. BMC Health Services Research, 10, 200. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-200
 Lagoe, R., Pasinski, T., Kronenberg, P., Quinn, T. and Schaengold, P. (2006) Linking health services at the community level. Canada Health Care Quarterly, 9, 60-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.12927/hcq..18229
 Averill, R.F., Goldfield, N.I. and Muldoon, J. (2002) A closer look at all patients refined DRGs. Journal of AHIMA, 10, 46-50.