The average length of stay for COVID-19 patients went up in the first quarter of 2022 according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA).
“What we saw in the Omicron wave was that those coming into hospitals were staying longer for their COVID hospitalization with an average length of stay of ten-and-a-half days,” VHHA Vice President of Data Analytics, David Vaamonde said during a Monday presentation of hospital and emergency department visit trends.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association has launched a new dashboard showing inpatient psychiatric admissions at both state-run and private hospitals in Virginia.
“As we work to strengthen and enhance the behavioral health care system, while also confronting workforce shortages and strong demand for psychiatric treatment services being experienced by public and private Virginia hospitals, having verified and reliable data is critical to the process of evaluating potential policy solutions and next steps,” VHHA CEO Sean Connaughton said in a press release.
During the beginning of COVID-19, hospital inpatient volume and emergency department visits decreased, in part due to people postponing treatment. But the same data showed an increase in the number of patients getting treatment for alcohol, drug use, and related mental disorders, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) reported in April. In a Friday press conference, VHHA Vice President of Data and Analytics David Vaamonde reported that increased treatment for those kinds of disorders continued into the first two quarters of 2021 — one of only two Major Diagnostic Categories (MDCs) that saw growth since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We’re looking at MDCs where volumes actually increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have alcohol and drug use, and drug induced organic mental health disorders, obviously a very concerning trend there, and then diseases and disorders of the respiratory system and infectious and parasitic diseases,” Vaamonde said, adding that the respiratory, infectious, and parasitic categories line up with what a COVID-19 patient would have.
Virginia hospitals saw a 10 percent decrease in inpatient volumes in 2020 and a 30 percent decrease in emergency department visits, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA). On Wednesday, VHHA staff held a virtual press conference presenting an update on hospitalization and emergency department visit trends. Hospitalization data does not show a COVID-19-lockdown baby boom, but rather a decrease in usage of hospital pregnancy services when compares to previous years. On the other hand, inpatient discharge data shows an increase in treatment of alcohol, drug use, and related mental disorders, a trend that began before COVID-19.