Analysing homogenous patient journeys to assess quality of care for patients admitted outside of their ‘home-ward’
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This study is the first to explore the quality of care based on the outlier or the inlier status of patients for a large heterogeneous General Medicine (GM) service at a busy public hospital. The study compared the quality of care between ward outliers and ward inliers based on a homogenous group of patients using Two-step clustering method. Contrary to common perception, ward outliers had overall shorter Length of Stay (LOS) than ward inliers. The study also was unable to support the perception of shorter LOS in the outlier group being associated with higher in-hospital mortality. The study confirmed that overall the outliers received inferior quality of care as discharge summaries for the outliers were delayed and more outliers were re-admitted within 7 days of discharge in comparison to the inliers.