NUH Frequent Admitters Project

Studying the psychosocial, behavioural and environmental factors behind frequent admissions to NUH

“Pops in and out even when he is well… and the reason is sometimes he doesn’t get enough food, sometimes he has no help, no money, and he basically comes to the hospital for the provision of care.”

Community Social Support Provider


What is frequent admission?

  • With an ageing population, more patients have complex and chronic conditions which predispose them to frequent hospital admissions.
  • In 2014, frequent admitters constituted 12 per cent of total inpatients load but 31 per cent of total admission number.
  • To address the needs of such patients, the National University Health System (NUHS) has started programmes to examine cases of patients with three and more admissions in a year, to learn more about psychological, behavioural and environmental factors behind the cause of frequent readmissions.

What NUS CARES uncovered

  • The team discovered that individual factors contributing to a patient’s frequent hospital admission include complexities of their medical conditions, poor health knowledge, as well as the fear of being burdensome to their families.
  • Long-term solutions are necessary, including better awareness of step-down care and out-of-hospital support programmes offered by NUHS as well as various community partners.

“The Frequent Admitters project with NUHS had me venturing out of my comfort zone. Over the course of the project, I was exposed to many new issues and perspectives. One key realisation at the end of the one-year working on this project, is that healthcare is a very complex process that requires the cooperation of various stakeholders. It was an eye-opening experience and a lesson in humility and empathy.”

NUS CARES Student Team


For more details about the NUS CARES Frequent Admitters project, please click here.

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