To perform a narrative review of the literature regarding the discharge of patients directly to home (DDH) from the intensive care unit, and to identify patient characteristics and clinical outcomes associated with this practice.
We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE from 1946 to present. We also manually searched the references of relevant articles. A two-step review process with three independent reviewers was used to identify relevant articles based on predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria.
Four studies were included in the final review. Two studies were retrospective and two studies were prospective that shared data from the same patient cohort. All were single center studies. Two of the four studies outlined clinical outcomes associated with DDH.
This study highlights the relative dearth in the literature regarding the increasingly common practice of DDH, underscores the importance of further studies in this area, and identifies future important foci of research.