Background: Readmissions and death for palliative care patients are common and costly outcomes for hospitals, patients, and/or caregivers. Predicting which patients are likely to be readmitted or die within 30 days would help allocate resources and aid in patient disposition planning. Few factors have been strongly correlated with predicting which patients will be readmitted or die within 30 days of hospital discharge. The LACE (Length of Stay, Acuity of admission, Charlson comorbidity index, Emergency department use) score has been validated in medical/surgical patients; however, it has not been evaluated in the palliative care population.
Objective: To evaluate the LACE score in palliative care population.
Design: This study was a single-center retrospective cohort design.
Setting/patients: Patients were identified based on their consultation to an inpatient palliative care service.
Measurements: Thirty-day readmissions, 30-day mortality, length of stay, acuity of admission, Charlson comorbidity index, emergency department utilization, and demographic information.
Results: The LACE score was not an accurate predictor of clinical outcomes in the palliative care population. Patients who were readmitted or died within 30 days tended to be younger. Patients who were readmitted within 30 days tended to have increased emergency department use in the previous 6 months.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the LACE score may not be a sensitive predictor of clinical outcomes in our institution's palliative care patients. This may be due to the complexity of the required care in this population; thus, other factors should be investigated to determine accurate predictors of patient outcomes to better allocate resources.
Keywords: LACE score; death; outcomes predictor; readmission.