Electronic Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment in New York State: Length of Stay, Direct Costs in an ICU Setting
OBJECTIVE: In the United States, approximately 20% patients die annually during a hospitalization with an intensive care unit (ICU) stay. Each year, critical care costs exceed $82 billion, accounting for 13% of all inpatient hospital costs. Treatment of sepsis is listed as the most expensive condition in US hospitals, costing more than $20 billion annually. Electronic Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (eMOLST) is a standardized documentation process used in New York State to convey patients' wishes regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-sustaining treatments. No study to date has looked at the effect of eMOLST as an advance care planning tool on ICU and hospital costs using estimates of direct costs. The objective of our study was to investigate whether signing of eMOLST results in any reduction in length of stay and direct costs for a community-based hospital in New York State. METHOD: A retrospective chart review was conducted between July 2016 and July 2017. Primary outcome measures included length of hospital stay, ICU length of stay, total direct costs, and ICU costs. Inclusion criteria were patients >/=65 years of age and admitted into the ICU with a diagnosis of sepsis. An independent samples t test was used to test for significant differences between those who had or had not completed the eMOLST form.ResultThere were no statistical differences for patients who completed or did not complete the eMOLST form on hospital's total direct cost, ICU cost, total length of hospital stay, and total hours spent in the ICU.Significance of resultsCompleting an eMOLST form did not have any effect on reducing total direct cost, ICU cost, total length of hospital stay, and total hours spent in the ICU.