Did you know that the Length of Stay (LOS) calculation in Market Insights includes both Median and Average LOS metrics? It does! Both are important pieces of visibility - calling out the differences can be a valuable talking point when meeting with your referral sources.
First note that the Median is included on the left, and Average is on the right (in parentheses). Also note that generally, Average is going to be higher.
Why is that?
Median and Average are two statistical measures that look at volume from slightly different angles.
Median is simply the "middle" value in the numerical range. Average is the volume you might be more accustomed to, where you add up all the numbers and then divide by the count of numbers there are in the range.
Average has become the standard by which we all generally speak when it comes to ranges, and is a metric almost all post-acute teams are familiar with. However, when looking at an average it's important to remember that extended durations - like 60+ day LOS for one patient - will extend the average beyond what most patients experience.
In the first example above, the average LOS for patients was 39 days. Compare that to the median, though, and the 11 days tells a more complex story! Even though the average across all the lengths of stay was 39 days, if you take the median - the number in the middle - that means that approx. half the patient volume had a LOS of fewer than 11 days.
That's a conversation starter!
Comparing the differences in LOS can be a helpful "in" when speaking to physicians on LOS value, so use these differences to have more nuanced conversations with your referral sources.