Term: Separation(s)

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2007-09-26


A separation from a health care facility occurs anytime a patient (or resident) leaves because of death, discharge, sign-out against medical advice or transfer. The number of separations is the most commonly used measure of the utilization of hospital services. Separations, rather than admissions, are used because hospital discharge abstracts for inpatient care are based on information gathered at the time of discharge. In some cases, both inpatient and surgical outpatient records are included. In addition, hospital separations may not include newborn separations, since this would essentially result in a double counting (the mother and the baby being discharged).

The terms 'separation', 'discharge', 'hospital discharge', 'hospital separation' and 'stay' are used interchangeably.

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