Background One potential avenue for the realization of health care savings is reduction in hospital length of stay (LOS). Initiatives to reduce LOS may also reduce infection and improve patient satisfaction. We compare LOS after shoulder arthroplasty at an orthopedic specialty hospital (OSH) and a tertiary referral center (TRC). Methods A single institutional database was used to retrospectively identify all primary shoulder arthroplasties performed between January 1, 2013, and July 1, 2015, at the OSH and TRC. Manually matched cohorts from the OSH and TRC were compared for LOS and readmission rate. Results There were 136 primary shoulder arthroplasties performed at the OSH matched with 136 at the TRC during the same study period. OSH and TRC patients were similar in age (P = .949), body mass index (P = .967), Charlson Comorbidity Index (P = 1.000), gender (both 52.21% male), procedure (69.12% total shoulder arthroplasty, 7.35% hemiarthroplasty, and 23.53% reverse shoulder arthroplasty), insurance status (P = .714), and discharge destination (P = .287). Despite equivalent patient characteristics, average LOS at the OSH was 1.31 ± 0.48 days compared with 1.85 ± 0.57 days at the TRC (t = 8.41, P < .0001). Of the 136 OSH patients, 3 (2.2%) required transfer to a TRC. Readmission rates for the OSH patients (2/136, 1.5%) and TRC patients (1/136, 0.7%) were similar (z = 0.585, P = .559). Conclusion LOS at the OSH was significantly shorter than at the TRC for a strictly matched cohort of patients. This may be a result of fast-track rehabilitation and strict disposition protocols at the OSH. With rising shoulder arthroplasty demand, utilization of an OSH may be a safe avenue to delivery of more efficient and effective orthopedic care.
- Shoulder arthroplasty
- economic analysis
- health care policy
- length of stay
- orthopedic specialty hospitals
- reverse shoulder arthroplasty