As pressures on healthcare systems increase, due to an ageing population, hospital admission avoidance interventions have been emphasised. These interventions can be difficult to objectively evaluate due to non-randomised roll-out, requiring observational methods with carefully selected control groups. This study aims to identify the defining characteristics of elderly patients receiving admission avoidance home visits. We conducted a record linkage study using routinely collected data to compare characteristics and outcomes of the general elderly population and a subset of high-risk patients. Intervention patients were found to have significantly different demographics and admission rates compared to the general population, having four times higher admission rates at baseline. However, they share similarities with high-risk patients, particularly in that after a period of increased admissions, both groups experienced a reduction in the following year. Identifying defining characteristics of the target intervention population can guide the careful selection of a control group for evaluation.
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