Factors affecting the discharge of patients from hospital with seasonal influenza—the role of the Rapid Influenza testing in hospital discharges

  • Chavada RuchirEmail author
  • Clifford Liam
  • Weisback Owen
Original Article


Influenza is a major cause of presentations to the emergency departments. Introduction of the Rapid Influenza tests has assisted with diagnosis and facilitated patient discharges. We designed this study to identify factors affecting hospital discharge and to understand the role of Rapid Influenza testing. A retrospective observational study of patients was done during influenza season in 2017. Clinical data was obtained from electronic medical records. Rapid Influenza testing was performed using Xpert Flu/RSV (Cepheid, USA). Univariate and multivariate analysis was done using SPSS Version 26 (IBM, NY). A total of 665 patients presented with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Patients discharged from the hospital were younger (median age 62 vs 68, p = 0.031). Patients with immunosuppression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia were more likely to be admitted to hospital. Rapid testing done with a turnaround (TAT) of 2 h (27.8% vs 17.8%, p = 0.002) and with a TAT of 6 h (55% vs 46.3%, p = 0.026) of the patient presentation was associated with a higher rate of hospital discharge. Median TAT of the RIT was 6 h (IQR 1–40 h). On multivariable analysis, RIT TAT of ≤ 2 h (OR 1.62, p = 0.013) was associated with higher likelihood of patients being discharged, whereas immunosuppressed patients (OR 2.25, p = 0.011), COPD (OR 2.42, p = 0.001) and pneumonia on presentation (OR 8.10, p < 0.001) were more likely to get admitted. Patients with COPD, pneumonia on presentation and those with immunosuppression are more likely to be admitted. Rapid Influenza tests can facilitate the discharge of patients from hospital.


Hospital discharge Influenza Rapid Influenza test 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethics approval was given by CCLHD Clinical Governance unit was as QI study (0518-042C).

Informed consent

Waiver for informed patient consent was granted by CCLHD CGU.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Infectious DiseasesNSW Health Pathology-Central Coast, GosfordGosfordAustralia
  2. 2.Department of MedicineWyong Hospital/Gosford HospitalsGosfordAustralia

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