What's the average length of stay at a hospital?
According to the American Hospital Association, the average length of stay (ALOS) refers to the average number of days that patients spend in a hospital setting. It is measured by dividing the total number of days stayed by all inpatients during a year by the number of admissions or discharges.
Below, we’ve used HospitalView to analyze which short-term acute care hospitals have the longest average length of stay, according to the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database. For the purposes of analysis, we only looked at hospitals that discharged more than 50 patients in the previous 12 months in order to not skew the results.
|Rank||Hospital name||State||Definitive ID||# of discharges||Average length of stay||Explore dataset|
|2||Memorial Hospital Stone County (FKA Stone County Hospital)||MS||2318||273||16.8||Explore|
|3||Bibb Medical Center||AL||23||229||16.7||Explore|
|4||Yalobusha General Hospital||MS||2333||258||15.1||Explore|
|5||St Lukes Sacred Heart Campus (FKA Sacred Heart Hospital)||PA||3526||1,495||14.1||Explore|
|7||Samaritan Hospital - St Marys Campus||NY||2884||454||13.7||Explore|
|8||Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (FKA Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)||WA||5692||522||12.2||Explore|
|9||Jefferson County Hospital||MS||2281||70||11.9||Explore|
|10||Hill Hospital of Sumter County||AL||109||333||11.2||Explore|
Which hospital has the longest average length of stay?
In first place is Kensington Hospital, with an average length of stay of 16.8 days. Kensington Hospital specializes in internal, geriatric, sleep, and pulmonary medicine. With more than 140 years of service, this facility is one of the oldest and last remaining independent non-profit hospitals in Philadelphia, PA.
Memorial Hospital Stone County is tied with Kensington Hospital for first place, also having an ALOS of 16.8 days. The facility specializes in family medicine, orthopedics, and podiatry.
And in second place is Bibb Medical Center, located in Alabama. This government-owned facility has an average length of stay of 16.7 days. In addition to general medical and surgical services, Bibb Medical Center provides short-term rehab and 24-hour skilled nursing care.
The importance of ALOS in hospitals
The average length of stay in a hospital is commonly used to gauge the efficiency of a healthcare facility.
A longer stay can be indicative of poor-quality care, breakdowns in communication and collaboration, poor discharge planning, medical errors, and other factors. This can be a very costly mistake for a hospital, as it won’t be reimbursed for the costs associated with caring for patients for the additional days they are in the hospital. Future patients will also suffer, as the hospital is now operating at a reduced capacity.
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