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The Effect of Hospital Organizational Characteristics on Postoperative Complications

Knight, Margaret PhD, MS, MPH

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182995e5b
Original Articles

Objectives To determine if there is a relationship between the risk of postoperative complications and the nonclinical hospital characteristics of bed size, ownership structure, relative urbanicity, regional location, teaching status, and area income status.

Methods This study involved a secondary analysis of 2006 administrative hospital data from a number of U.S. states. This data, gathered annually by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) via the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) Healthcare Utilization Project (HCUP), was analyzed using probit regressions to measure the effects of several nonclinical hospital categories on seven diagnostic groupings. The study model included postoperative complications as well as additional potentially confounding variables.

Results The results showed mixed outcomes for each of the hospital characteristic groupings. Subdividing these groupings to correspond with the HCUP data analysis allowed a greater understanding of how hospital characteristics’ may affect postoperative outcomes.

Conclusions Nonclinical hospital characteristics do affect the various postoperative complications, but they do so inconsistently.

From the Department of Public Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Correspondence: Margaret Knight, PhD, 1914 Andy Holt Ave, HPER 390, Knoxville, TN 37996 (e-mail:

The author discloses no conflict of interest.

This study was self-funded and conducted as part of my dissertation at the University of Texas at Dallas.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins