Adverse events significantly higher among interhospital transfer patients

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Patients who are transferred between hospitals have worse outcomes than patients who are not transferred, according to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Researchers used the 2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample to study patient characteristics, in-hospital adverse events and discharge disposition for 1.39 million transfer patients and 31.69 million nontransfer patients.

The study shows transfer patients had higher risk-adjusted inpatient mortality, longer length of stay and fewer routine disposition discharges as compared to nontransfer patients. Additionally, in-hospital adverse events were significantly higher in transfer patients. Researchers found age, sex, race and payer were significant factors associated with odds of transfer.

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