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What are the pros and cons of shorter hospital stays (in most Western countries) vs longer hospital stays in Japan?


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I only stayed in a hospital once as a child in the US and recall it being traumatic being alone at night so I suppose I would support shorter stays provided the data supported that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've had long-ish stays in both American and Japanese hospitals in my life, and I'd say there are pros and cons on both sides. Note, these are irrespective of doctors, that's something I'd discuss later.

On the pro for a long stay (during and after an ACL/MCL surgery), I was able to see a physical therapist every day starting the day after surgery. Critique on the rehabilitation protocol aside, that's something I'd never get in a short stay American hospital.

The con for a long stay is that in both of the instances in my family where a long stay was authorized, it honestly felt too long. Progress in my ACL/MCL surgery was done at nearly a glacial pace simply because someone authorized an up to 4 week hospital stay post-surgery, which is ridiculous when you realize that US/Canada/UK hospitals will have you home within 3-4 days max (including some places doing ACL surgery as an outpatient procedure). I was nearly climbing the walls after one week, and doing 2 weeks (the minimum the doctors would go along with and still agree to do the 'optional' procedure) had my patience tested to the maximum.

On the pro for a short stay, you're able to get back to a comfortable, familiar environment. After getting hit by a car in America, going home after 4 days to stay there for another week before surgery was more relaxing, more helpful than being stuck in a hospital room. I couldn't imagine doing it Japanese style where I was sharing the room with 3 other patients, even. That comfort level meant that going into my surgery I was less stressed, and ready for recovery.

On the con for a short stay is that, especially in the American style of nearly drive-thru medical care, it can be too short. I couldn't imagine going home 24 hours post ACL surgery, or my wife going home 24 hours post C-section for our son.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Shorter stay help reduce risks from hospital acquired infections like c-dif and MRSA.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Less risk of hospital acquired infections.

Getting back into your normal environment and routine as soon as possible aids recovery.

Being in hospital is boring, not good for your mental health.

Many tests and procedures can be done as day cases, there is rarely a need for someone having an endoscopy, for example, to stay in the hospital.

On a national level, it is more cost effective for patients to receive care at home, via primary care services, than in a hospital. Unfortunately, Japan's primary care services are geared up to this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My longish stay in a Japanese hospital kept me away from bickering at home. Definitely a plus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not being in hospital.  Being in the comfort and familiarity of one's own home.  Cost.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have no idea of other hospitals, buy Miyazaki Prefecture Hospital is better than any hospital back in Baltimore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My brother -in-law went into hospital for a fairly minor procedure on his ankle. He managed to milk a week's stay out of and seemed to love his time in a pretty comfortable ward.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have no idea of other hospitals, buy Miyazaki Prefecture Hospital is better than any hospital back in Baltimore.

I have serious, serious doubts that Miyazaki Prefectural Hospital is better than Johns Hopkins, which is currently rated the #4 hospital in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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