Table 1

 Details of participating hospitals and units

Control units(n = 10)Intervention units(n = 10)
ED, emergency department; GI, gastrointestinal; ICU, intensive care unit; OBDs, occupied bed days.
Hospital characteristics
Major city
    Hospital 1ICU
    Hospital 2Medical (cardiology)Medical (neurology)
Surgical (GI)Surgical (GI)
    Hospital 3General surgicalGeneral medical
    Hospital 4Medical (neurology)Medical (cardiology)
    Hospital 5General medicalED
General surgical
    Hospital 6EDGeneral medical
General surgical
Department characteristics
Number of ICU beds2142
    Major city1534
Number of OBDs in baseline and study period (for combined medical, surgical and ICU areas)90 14297 134
    Major city68 39976 251
    Regional21 74320 883
Number of patient discharges in baseline and study period15 91615 043
    Major city10 43410 419
Number of ED attendances in baseline and study period78 26466 669
    Major city60 94944 057
    Regional17 31522 612