Aims: In this observational study, we investigated whether specialized care improves outcomes for acute pancreatitis (AP).
Methods: Consecutive patients admitted to two university hospitals with AP were enrolled in this study between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 (Center A: specialized center; Center B: general hospital). Data on demographic characteristics and AP etiology, severity, mortality and quality of care (enteral nutrition and antibiotic use) were extracted from the Hungarian Acute Pancreatitis Registry. An independent sample t-test, Mann-Whitney test, chi-squared test or Fisher's test were used for statistical analyses. Costs of care were calculated and compared in the two models of care.
Results: There were 355 patients enrolled, 195 patients in the specialized center (Center A) and 160 patients in the general hospital (Center B). There was no difference in mean age (57.02 +/-17.16 vs. 57.31 +/-16.50 P=0.872) and sex ratio (56% males vs. 57% males, P=0.837) between centres, allowing a comparison without selection bias. Center A had lower mortality (n=2, 1.03% vs. n=16, 6.25%, p=0.007), more patients received enteral feeding (n=179, 91.8%, vs. n=36, 22.5%, p<0.001) and fewer patients were treated with antibiotics (n=85, 43.6% vs. n=123, 76.9%, p=0.001). In Center A the median length of hospitalization was shorter (Me 6, IQR 5-9 vs. Me 8, IQR 6-11, p=0.02) and the costs of care were by 25% lower.
Conclusion: Our data suggests that treatment of AP in specialized centers reduces mortality, length of hospitalization and thus might reduce the costs.