Overcoming gaps: Regional collaborative to optimize capacity management and predict length of stay of patients admitted with COVID-19

Michael G. Usher, Roshan Tourani, Gyorgy J Simon, Christopher Tignanelli, Bryan Jarabek, Craig E. Strauss, Stephen C. Waring, Niall A.M. Klyn, Burke T. Kealey, Rabindra R Tambyraja, Deepti Pandita, Karyn D. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Ensuring an efficient response to COVID-19 requires a degree of inter-system coordination and capacity management coupled with an accurate assessment of hospital utilization including length of stay (LOS). We aimed to establish optimal practices in inter-system data sharing and LOS modeling to support patient care and regional hospital operations. Materials and Methods: We completed a retrospective observational study of patients admitted with COVID-19 followed by 12-week prospective validation, involving 36 hospitals covering the upper Midwest. We developed a method for sharing de-identified patient data across systems for analysis. From this, we compared 3 approaches, generalized linear model (GLM) and random forest (RF), and aggregated system level averages to identify features associated with LOS. We compared model performance by area under the ROC curve (AUROC). Results: A total of 2068 patients were included and used for model derivation and 597 patients for validation. LOS overall had a median of 5.0 days and mean of 8.2 days. Consistent predictors of LOS included age, critical illness, oxygen requirement, weight loss, and nursing home admission. In the validation cohort, the RF model (AUROC 0.890) and GLM model (AUROC 0.864) achieved good to excellent prediction of LOS, but only marginally better than system averages in practice. Conclusion: Regional sharing of patient data allowed for effective prediction of LOS across systems; however, this only provided marginal improvement over hospital averages at the aggregate level. A federated approach of sharing aggregated system capacity and average LOS will likely allow for effective capacity management at the regional level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberooab055
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (R01HS026732 to MGU). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of AHRQ.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.


  • COVID-19
  • Interoperability
  • Predictive Modeling


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