Table of Contents
ISRN Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 410931, 7 pages
Research Article

Community Stepdown Care: A Safe Alternative for Selected Elderly Patients Attending Emergency Department?

Emergency Department, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 308433

Received 17 October 2012; Accepted 4 November 2012

Academic Editors: L. V. Downey, C. R. Harris, J. D. Losek, and S. C. Shapira

Copyright © 2012 Chee Kheong Ooi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The Community Stepdown Care Initiative attempts to provide right siting of care for elderly emergency department attendees whose main need is rehabilitation. Objectives. The aim of this study was to compare reattendance and rehospitalisation rates, length of stay, medical complication rates, and discharge destination between the community hospital cohort and the acute hospital cohort. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted from June 2007 to November 2008. Results. Two hundred and thirty patients were enrolled in the study. 68 patients were successfully transferred to stepdown care; 162 patients were admitted to acute hospital. The odds ratio of reattendance was similar in both cohorts at 2 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months. The odds ratio of rehospitalisation was similar in both cohorts at 2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. There was no statistical difference in the medical complication rates between the cohorts. Patients were more likely to be discharged home from the community hospital compared to acute hospital (adjusted OR 4.11, ). 14% of patients from the acute hospital cohort was discharged to community hospital. Conclusions. For selective elderly emergency department attendees whose predominant need is rehabilitation, stepdown care is a safe alternative compared to usual acute hospital care.