A Cross-sectional Study of Hospital Performance on ICU Utilization Practices for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Kusum S. Mathews, Neha N. Goel, Carmen Vargas-Torres, Ashley D. Olson, Jing Zhou, Charles A. Powell, Madhu Mazumdar, Gregory N. Stock, Christopher M. McDermott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intensive care unit (ICU) resources are a costly but effective commodity used in the management of critically ill patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). ICU admission decisions are determined by patient diagnosis and severity of illness, but also may be affected by hospital differences in quality and performance. We investigate the variability in ICU utilization for patients with COPD and its association with hospital characteristics. Methods: Using a 3M administrative dataset spanning 2008–2013, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients discharged with COPD at hospitals in three state to determine variability in ICU utilization. Quality metrics were calculated for each hospital using observed-to-expected (O/E) ratios for overall mortality and length of stay. Logistic and multilevel multivariate regression models were constructed, estimating the association between hospital quality metrics on ICU utilization, after adjustment for available clinical factors and hospital characteristics. Results: In 434 hospitals with 570,517 COPD patient visits, overall ICU admission rate was 33.1% [range 0–89%; median (IQR) 24% (8, 54)]. The addition of patient, hospital, and quality characteristics decreased the overall variability attributable to individual hospital differences seen within our cohort from 40.9 to 33%. Odds of ICU utilization were increased for larger hospitals and those seeing lower pulmonary case volume. Hospitals with better overall O/E ratios for length of stay or mortality had lower ICU utilization. Conclusions: Hospital characteristics, including quality metrics, are associated with variability in ICU utilization for COPD patients, with higher ICU utilization seen for lower performing hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-644
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COPD
  • ICU management
  • ICU outcome
  • Patient outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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