What is length of stay?

Length of stay (LOS) is a clinical metric that measures the length of time elapsed between a patient’s hospital admittance and discharge. LOS can be calculated on a hospital-wide basis or by therapy area, including acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and diabetes.

Why is length of stay an important metric in healthcare?

Length of stay data offers insights into care efficiency over time, including correlations between stay length and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Longer patient says have been associated with increased risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and higher mortality rates for some conditions.

Patient stay length also affects a hospital’s financial performance —the longer a patient remains at a hospital, the more money the facility spends treating them. To reduce cost per discharge, CMS offers some financial incentives to reduce patient stay lengths per episode of care. reduce cost per discharge, CMS offers some financial incentives to reduce patient stay lengths per episode of care.