Length of stay

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Length of stay (LOS) is a term commonly used to measure the duration of a single episode of hospitalization. Inpatient days are calculated by subtracting day of admission from day of discharge. However, persons entering and leaving a hospital on the same day have a length of stay of one. (See hospital.)

A popular statistic associated with length of stay is the average length of stay (ALOS), calculated by dividing the sum of inpatient days by the number of patients admissions with the same DRG classification.

A variation in the calculation of ALOS could be consider only length of stay during the period under analysis.

The prospective payment system in U.S. Medicare for reimbursing hospital care promotes shorter LOS by paying the same amount for procedures, regardless of days spent in the hospital. The term "Average length of stay" ALOS is also applicable to other industries e.g. entertainment, event marketing, trade show and leisure. ALOS is used to determine the length of time an attendee is expected to spend on a site or in a venue and is part of the calculation used to determine the gross sales potential for selling space to vendors etc. and affects everything from parking to sanitation, staffing and food and beverage. Almost all operational aspects can be altered by an attendee's ALOS.