Likelihood of admission to hospital from the emergency department is not universally associated with hospital bed occupancy at the time of admission

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The decision to admit into the hospital from the emergency department (ED) is considered to be important and challenging. The aim was to assess whether previously published results suggesting an association between hospital bed occupancy and likelihood of hospital admission from the ED can be reproduced in a different study population. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of attendances at two Swedish EDs in 2015 was performed. Admission to hospital was assessed in relation to hospital bed occupancy together with other clinically relevant variables. Hospital bed occupancy was categorized and univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed. Results: In total 89,503 patient attendances were included in the final analysis. Of those, 29.1% resulted in admission within 24 h. The mean hospital bed occupancy by the hour of the two hospitals was 87.1% (SD 7.6). In both the univariate and multivariate analysis, odds ratio for admission within 24 h from the ED did not decrease significantly with an increasing hospital bed occupancy. Conclusions: A negative association between admission to hospital and occupancy level, as reported elsewhere, was not replicated. This suggests that the previously shown association might not be universal but may vary across sites due to setting specific circumstances.


  • Ellen Tolestam Heyman
  • Martin Engström
  • Amir Baigi
  • Lina Dahlén Holmqvist
  • Markus Lingman
External organisations
  • Sahlgrenska Academy
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Region Halland
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care


  • admission rate, disposition decision, emergency department, emergency medicine, hospital bed occupancy
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
Publication categoryResearch

Related activities

Khoshnood, A. (First/primary/lead supervisor), Ekelund, U. (Second supervisor), Ohlsson, M. (Joint second supervisor), Björk, J. (Joint second supervisor), Markus Lingman (Joint second supervisor)
2021 Feb 1 → …

Activity: Examination and supervisionSupervision of PhD students

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