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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Conrado-M. et al. RECALAD. Patient care at National Health System Digestive Care Units - A pilot study, 2015. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2018, vol.110, n.1, pp.44-50. ISSN 1130-0108.


To reach a situation diagnosis on the status of patient management at digestive care units (DCUs) in Spain.

Material and methods:

A cross-sectional descriptive study across DCUs in general acute care hospitals within the Spanish National Health System (data referred to 2015). The study variables were collected with a questionnaire including items on structure, services portfolio, activity, education, research, and good practice. Hospital discharge rates for digestive diseases were also assessed using the minimum basic data set (2005-2014).


Two hundred and nine hospitals invited, 55 responders (26.3%). Average discharges from hospital were 1,139 ± 653 per DCU/year, and 100 ± 66 per year per dedicated gastroenterologist. In 2014, admission rate to DCUs per 1,000 population and year was 280, with a mean stay of 7.4 days. The analysis of the MBDS for 2005-2014 reveals a progressive increase in the number of discharges (37% more in 2014 versus 2005), with a 28% decrease in hospital gross mortality rate (3.7% in 2014) and a slightly reduced (14%) mean stay (7.6 days in 2014). Considerable variability may be seen in structure, activity, and results indicators. Mortality and readmission rates, as well as mean stay, vary more than 100% amongst DCUs, and major dispersions also exist in frequentation and results amongst autonomous communities.


The RECALAD 2015 survey unveiled relevant aspects related to DCUs organization, structure, and management. The notable variability encountered likely reflects relevant differences in efficiency and productivity, and thus points out there is ample room for improvement.

Keywords : RECALAD; Digestive system; Clinical management; Quality; MBDS; National Health System.

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