Length of Stay

What are we measuring?
The average number of days a patient undergoing back, neck, or spinal fusion surgery stays in the hospital.
Why is this important?
The number of days that a patient must stay in the hospital is a way of looking at both the efficiency of care as well as its effectiveness. A shorter average length of stay may indicate that patients are recovering more quickly and experiencing fewer complications. However, it is important to consider how extensive the surgery is that is being performed. For example, average length of stay does not take into account how sick the patients are, and that not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgery such as microdiscectomy has a lower length of stay because it is less invasive.
What is our most recent performance and trend?
What we are doing to improve?
We continue to look at ways we can provide as much information to patients to help prepare them for their surgery and support their transition to home after surgery.  The Spine Center surgical team works closely with the nursing staff, physical therapists, and case managers to decrease length of stay when appropriate, ensuring that all patients meet criteria for a successful discharge from the hospital. We are committed to meeting  length of stay goals  for all of our procedures.. We continue to request that all surgical patients attend a visit in the PAT (pre admission testing) clinic. Our Spine service has a dedicated Case manager, who thoroughly supports our patients preparing for surgery. This one on one discussion allows patients to understand the progression cycle from the time they come to the hospital for their surgery, throughout their inpatient stay and preparation for discharge. The PAT visit allows our patients to think about their home environment and preparations that may need to occur to support a successful discharge. The nursing staff developed a spine surgery class, which is offered twice per month. We encourage all patients to attend the spine class to help prepare them for their inpatient stay. We believe patient preparation and explaining the flow of their stay supports our efforts to meet length of stay goals.

Last Updated: January 2018

Contact Information
Silverman Institute for Health Care Quality and Safety
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215