Main Article Content
The definition of the role of hospitals and communities in terms of the response to patients’ health care needs is essential in the Lombardy region health-care reform development (LR. 23/2015). The stratification of patients according to clinical severity and care complexity for adequate clinical health care, is achieved by delineating care settings, staff standards, required technical equipment and crucial aspects of clinical pathways. An observational and retrospective study at Manerbio Hospital Internal Medicine Unit (IMU) was carried out to define: i) characteristics of IMU patients; ii) role of IMU physician in management of poly-pathological patients; iii) alternative organizational models. After a Literature review, clinical severity was defined by modifying early warning score, complexity and co-morbidities by cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) and by intensity of care through care intensity index (IIA). All medical records of patients admitted in the first quarter of 2016 were analyzed. A total of 393 medical records were examined: 199 M/194 F, median age 81 years. Critical patients (requiring continuous monitoring using advanced equipment): 27% of the sample (10% with intensive care transfer criteria). Co-morbidity: between 5 and 6 active diseases for most of the sample; 53% with CIRS between 7 and 12. Elevated care intensity (IIA) was found in 46% of the sample, remaining constant throughout hospital stay. Medium stay: 9.35 days. 27% of IMU patients needs subintensive care. About a quarter of patients has unresolved social problems contributing to acute presentations in the emergency room. Agreement on appropriate links between hospital and community care structures is advisable to reduce hospital stay, adequately responding to patients’ needs.