Original research| Volume 98, ISSUE 3, P425-433, March 2017

Hospital-Based Health Care After Traumatic Brain Injury

Published:October 06, 2016DOI:



      To investigate trends of hospital-based health care utilization after admission to a level I trauma center after acute traumatic brain injury (TBI).


      Retrospective review.


      Large urban trauma hospital and a hospital council data registry consisting of 88 member institutions (>150 hospitals) covering 15,000 square miles.


      All patients (N=5291) admitted to a level I trauma center between January 1, 2006, and June 30, 2014, who experienced an acute TBI based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision coding.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Included the incidence and type of select hospital-based services received. Analyses were also categorized based on demographic and injury-related information.


      Of the 5291 patients with newly acquired TBI who were admitted, 512 died, leaving 4779 patients for inclusion in the final analysis. Additional health care utilization from January 1, 2006, and June 30, 2014, was recorded for 3158 patients (66%), totaling 12,307 encounters, with a median of 3 encounters (interquartile range, 1–5) and a maximum of 102 encounters. Most nonadmission urgent or procedural visits (96%) and inpatient encounters (93%) occurred in the first year. Of all the additional encounters, 9769 visits were nonadmission urgent or procedural visits (79%) with a median charge of $1955. The most common type of encounter was elective (46%), followed by medical emergency (29%). Of the remaining 2538 inpatient encounters (21%), the mean length of stay was 6 days with a median charge of $28,450. Medical emergency (39%) and elective admissions (33%) again were the most common encounter type.


      This analysis encompasses health care utilization across the range of TBI severity and numerous hospital systems, allowing for a more comprehensive and objective identification of reasons for readmission. This represents an initial step to developing a preventive intervention to manage secondary complications postinjury.


      List of abbreviations:

      DFWHCF (Dallas–Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation), DRG (diagnosis-related group), ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision), LOS (length of stay), LTAC (long-term acute care), SNF (skilled nursing facility), TBI (traumatic brain injury)
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