Eurostat study: length of hospital stays getting shorter
However, average length of inpatient hospital stays varies widely within Europe.
SJS/MS – 01/2019
a comparison of European countries, the average length of a hospital stay for
inpatients was between 5 and 10 days. The figure dropped between 2011 and 2016
in most countries. These are the some of the results from EUROSTAT’s most
recent survey for 2016. However, the study also reveals other interesting differences in
Length of hospital stay
longest inpatient stays were in the Czech Republic (9.6 days), followed by
Croatia (9.3 days) and France (9.1 days). In Germany, patients spent an average
of 9.0 days in hospital. Germany ranks fourth in the European comparison. This
is twice as long as the Netherlands with 4.5 days. In Bulgarian hospitals patients
only stay for an average of 5.3 days. When comparing the average length of stay
in 2016 to 2011, the majority of countries saw a decrease in the length of inpatient
age group, the average length of hospital stay was shortest for children aged 1
to 9 years. Across Europe, the highest averages were found among people aged 85
and over. The exceptions were Germany and Denmark, where the longest average
length of stay was for people aged between 45 and 59 years old.
survey also provided information on length of stay by diagnosis. In all
countries, the average duration of hospital stays for patients with mental and
behavioural disorders was the longest, with Malta and the Czech Republic having
the longest length of stays of more than 40 days. In Germany, this diagnosis also
resulted in the longest stay with 25.1 days. The most common primary diagnosis in
almost all EU Member States was circulatory diseases.
study does not provide any information on what conclusions can be drawn from
the relationship between length of stay and the quality of care. However, it does
provide information on hospital discharges for inpatients, such as discharge
rates, and provides analyses by age, gender and diagnosis. These in turn can be
used as an indicator of health activities in hospitals, in the form of treatments
or therapies. The validity of the data for country-specific characteristics is
limited, in particular because of the national statistics of each country, as the
data does not always cover all hospitals, treatments or patient types.