Twenty-four percent of bed-days were occupied by patients whose discharge from hospital was delayed for social or geriatric reasons in a bed-usage survey carried out on surgical patients during a three-month period of 1973.
By early social assessment with the regular help of a medical social worker it was possible to reduce such delays to 16% in a similar study during the same period of 1974. The at-risk patients were the elderly admitted as an emergency and the present policy contributed particularly to the overall care of this group.
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