Is single room hospital accommodation associated with differences in healthcare-associated infection, falls, pressure ulcers or medication errors? A natural experiment with non-equivalent controls.
This study expands on analyses and conclusions from published findings exploring the effects of moving to a new hospital with 100% single room accommodations. The researchers used nonequivalent controls by comparing results to a hospital that had not changed buildings but planned to do so (steady state control) and a hospital that moved to a new building with fewer than 50% single rooms (new build control). Falls, pressure ulcers, and Clostridium difficile infections increased in the older patients' ward after the move to single rooms. However, there was also a significant change in the case mix on this ward following the move, which may have explained these changes in adverse events. On the acute assessment unit, falls and medication errors temporarily increased for the first 6 months but then returned to prior rates. The authors found neither clear evidence of benefit nor increased risk of harm attributable to moving to all single room accommodations.