Elderly bedridden patients with dementia use over one quarter of resources in internal medicine wards in an Israeli hospital

Inbal Weiss Salz, Yehuda Carmeli, Avi Levin, Noga Fallach, Tali Braun, Sharon Amit

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Background: Elderly bedridden patients with dementia (EBRPD) are a growing segment of the population. We aimed to describe acute care hospitalization of EBRPD in internal medicine wards: the prevalence of EBRPD, their impact on hospital resources and hospital ecology, one-year survival, and one-year readmission-free survival. Methods: The study setting was the internal medicine division of one tertiary care hospital in Israel. We conducted a point-prevalence survey to measure the prevalence of EBRPD and the prevalence of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) carriage. We also conducted a retrospective chart review of EBRPD who were hospitalized in the internal medicine division in order to assess resource use, survival, and readmission. Results: In the point prevalence surveys (N = 1667 patients), EBRPD comprised 24.3% of patients and 59.0% of mechanically ventilated patients. EBRPD were twice as likely to be colonized or infected by MDROs as other patients (39.3% vs. 18%, p < 0.001); thus, 41% of MDRO carriers during the survey days were EBRPD. In the retrospective study (N = 517 EBRPD), 80% of EBRPD received antibiotics; on average, they received an antibiotic on 87.7% of their hospital days. One-year survival was 35.6% and one-year readmission-free survival was 16.4%. Conclusions: Acute care hospitalization of EBRPD accounted for a high proportion of bed occupancy and ventilator use in internal medicine wards. EBRPD significantly increase the potential for MDRO transmission. Policymakers should seek alternatives to acute care hospitalization for EBRPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Geriatrics
  • Mortality
  • Resource utilization


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