Use of single-bed rooms may decrease the incidence of hospital-acquired infections in geriatric patients: A retrospective cohort study in Central Denmark region

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OBJECTIVE: Patients accommodated in single-bed rooms may have a reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) compared to those in multi-bed rooms. This study aimed to examine the effect of single-bed accommodation on HAIs in older patients admitted to a geriatric ward.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of patients admitted to geriatric wards in a university hospital in Central Denmark Region linked to a move to a newly built hospital, involving all consecutively admitted patients aged 65 years and over from 15 September to 19 December 2016 and a similar cohort admitted in the same three months in 2017. We compared the incidence of HAIs in patients in single-bed accommodation to those in multi-bed accommodation using retrospective review of electronic patient records, with all infections verified microbiologically or by X-ray with onset between 48 hours after admission to 48 hours after discharge from hospital.

RESULTS: In total 446 patients were included. The incidence of HAIs in multi-bed accommodation was 30% compared to 20% in single-bed accommodation. The hazard ratio was 0.62 (95% Confidence Interval 0.43-0.91, p = 0.01) for single-bed accommodation. This finding remained robust after adjustment for age, sex, infection at admission, risk of sepsis, use of catheter, treatment with prednisone or methotrexate, and comorbidity index.

CONCLUSION: Accommodation in single-bed rooms appeared to reduce HAIs compared to multi-bed rooms in two geriatric wards. This finding should be considered as hypothesis-generating and be examined further using an experimental design.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Services Research & Policy
Number of pages7
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Hospital-acquired infection, geriatrics, single-bed rooms

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