A tool enables clinicians to assess hospital patients' risk of death within a year of admission, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The study, led by Carl van Walraven, a researcher at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Ontario, analyzed eight years of data for patients admitted to hospitals in Ontario and Alberta and to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to determine the accuracy of the hospital-patient one-year mortality risk (HOMR) model. Previous research involving the HOMR model suggested it was an accurate method for one-year mortality risk assessment, but these trials involved only a year's worth of data at one hospital.
The model incorporates patient age, sex, living status, number and severity of illnesses, and number and type of admissions. Of the study subjects, the Alberta cohort was younger, while the Boston cohort had more chronic illnesses. Van Walraven and his team determined the overall risk of death within a year of admission was 8.7 percent, but found substantial variation according to patient characteristics. Overall, they determined patients' HOMR scores accurately reflected their risk of one-year mortality.
"The HOMR score can be used with confidence to predict the risk of death within one year after admission using health administrative data," van Walraven and his team said in a statement, adding that further study is needed to determine the model's effectiveness in frontline, routine-care settings.
Research published in November found longer hospital stays can reduce both mortality rates and readmissions, while a recent study indicates mortality is higher at low-volume hospitals, FierceHealthcare previously reported.