NEW YORK-The average length of stay for patients in New York City hospitals dropped more than a day between 1993 and 1995, according to Hospital Watch, the United Hospital Fund's quarterly report on hospital finances and performance. The average length of stay at the city's voluntary hospitals declined to 8.3 days, down from 9.6 days in 1993. Occupancy rates dropped to 83.2% in the first quarter of 1995, down from 88.6% in 1993. The declines in length of stay and occupancy rates are associated with the expansion of hospital outpatient services as a source of revenues and city hospitals' reliance on public payers for outpatient services. Despite these downward trends, however, New York City's length of stay and occupancy rates are still higher than the U.S. average. The average length of stay at hospitals nationwide for the first quarter of 1995 was 5.8 days, and the nationwide occupancy rate was approximately 64%.
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Six members of the Hospital Consortium of Greater Rochester-Genesee Hospital, Highland Hospital of Rochester, Park Ridge Hospital, Rochester General Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester-have developed an information system to improve healthcare quality and costs across the community. The new system, called the Rochester Area Community Healthcare Information System, or RACHIS, will use a high-speed communications network to link the six hospitals with one another and ultimately with other healthcare organizations. By the end of the first half of 1996, the system will allow the six hospitals to share information immediately about critically ill patients. In all, the six hospitals have invested $5.3 million in the RACHIS project. Partners in the project include Frontier Communications, Rochester; Oacis Healthcare Systems, Greenbrae, Calif.; Sybase, Bethesda, Md.; and Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Calif.