The value of early discharge: Dispelling some myths Academic Article uri icon


  • Our objective in this paper is to assess the value of early discharge schemes following the economic evaluation of three such schemes in New South Wales, Australia. An early discharge programme for obstetric patients, a fractured hip management programme and a continuing community cancer care programme were evaluated. The results of the economic evaluation of these schemes are discussed in the light of four commonly held beliefs about the value of early discharge: that early discharge schemes succeed in reducing length of stay, that early discharge schemes save money, that the welfare of patients is not reduced by early discharge and that early discharge schemes are cost-effective. The caution expressed by previous authors about the perceived advantages of early discharge schemes is still warranted.

publication date

  • December 1993