6/23/10

LTC waits drive up ALC patients in hospitals, despite reductions in admissions of ambulatory care patients

The tripling of waits for Ontario LTC beds has driven up the number of alternate level of care (ALC) patients in hospitals.  The Ontario Health Quality Council notes that every 3.3 day increase in the average hospital patient wait for an LTC bed is associated with a 1% increase in the number of hospital beds that are ALC.

Now we are at 16% of acute beds that are filled with ALC patients.

This despite a dramatic reduction in in the number of hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions.  In 2007-8 there were (according to the Quality Council) 296 hospital admissions  per 100,000 population for all ambulatory care sensitive conditions. This is down from about 400 in 2002-3. That's about a 25% reduction in just five years.  So, for example, there has been a huge reduction in hospitalizations for angina  (the admission rate has decreased more than half over the last six years) and there has been a major decline in hospitalizations for asthma in the last four years.

 dallan@cupe.ca

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