Hospital-level variation in the development of persistent critical illness

Elizabeth M. Viglianti, Sean M. Bagshaw, Rinaldo Bellomo, Joanne McPeake, Xiao Qing Wang, Sarah Seelye, Theodore J. Iwashyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Patients with persistent critical illness may account for up to half of all intensive care unit (ICU) bed-days. It is unknown if there is hospital variation in the development of persistent critical illness and if hospital performance affects the incidence of persistent critical illness. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of Veterans admitted to the Veterans Administration (VA) ICUs from 2015 to 2017. Hospital performance was defined by the risk- and reliability-adjusted 30-day mortality. Persistent critical illness was defined as an ICU length of stay of at least 11 days. We used 2-level multilevel logistic regression models to assess variation in risk- and reliability-adjusted probabilities in the development of persistent critical illness. Results: In the analysis of 100 hospitals which encompassed 153,512 hospitalizations, 4.9% (N = 7640/153,512) developed persistent critical illness. There was variation in the development of persistent critical illness despite controlling for patient characteristics (intraclass correlation: 0.067, 95% CI 0.049–0.091). Hospitals with higher risk- and reliability-adjusted 30-day mortality had higher probabilities of developing persistent critical illness (predicted probability: 0.057, 95% CI 0.051–0.063, p < 0.01) compared to those with lower risk- and reliability-adjusted 30-day mortality (predicted probability: 0.046, 95% CI 0.041–0.051, p < 0.01). The median odds ratio was 1.4 (95% CI 1.33–1.49) implying that, for two patients with the same physiology on admission at two different VA hospitals, the patient admitted to the hospital with higher adjusted mortality would have 40% greater odds of developing persistent critical illness. Conclusion: Hospitals with higher risk- and reliability-adjusted 30-day mortality have a higher probability of developing persistent critical illness. Understanding the drivers of this variation may identify modifiable factors contributing to the development of persistent critical illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1567-1575
Number of pages9
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Hospital variation
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Outcomes
  • Persistent critical illness
  • Prolonged ICU stay

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