Identifying factors associated with health care use: a hospital-based risk screening index

Soc Sci Med. 1988;27(9):947-54. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(88)90286-9.


The purpose of the current study was to identify variables near hospital admission that could effectively discriminate patients at risk for nursing home placement, long hospital stay, or readmission. Risk factors reported in the literature were used to predict hospital outcome for 532 admissions. Factors that discriminated type of outcome included: two or more chronic medical conditions, living alone or being admitted from a nursing home, dependent ambulation, poor mental status, psychiatric comorbidity, prior admission, age over 75, and being unmarried. Using these criteria, an index was developed to determine risk for placement, readmission, or lengthy stay. Use of cumulative risk scores can result in accurate prediction of outcome and may be useful in targeting patients for intervention. Performance characteristics of the risk index are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Misuse
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Admission*
  • Patient Readmission
  • Risk Factors
  • Washington