Published: 17 September, 2021 | Volume 5 - Issue 3 | Pages: 046-053
Solid tumor oncology treatments are primarily performed in the outpatient setting. However, hospitalizations are inevitable due to complications of cancer and treatment-related toxicities. With rising health care spending, the length of hospital stay (LOS) is increasingly considered a proxy for healthcare costs. There are several ongoing efforts to abbreviate the inpatient LOS and ensure a safe and timely discharge to the outpatient setting. In addition to the acute illness and the associated comorbidities, various factors affect the LOS: social determinants of health (SDOH), nutritional status in cancer patients, and end-of-life issues. Furthermore, it is unclear how the institutional policies on social distancing and visitation during the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may impact the LOS. The purpose of this article is to review various factors and barriers that lead to longer LOS for solid tumor patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify the critical areas of quality improvement.
Hospital length of stay; COVID 19; Social determinants of health; Oncology; Cancer disparities