One of the key indicators of the quality of a hospital’s care is how frequently its patients are readmitted within a month after being discharged.
A study this month examined readmission rates for pediatric patients and found that nearly 30% of them may have been preventable.
The study, published online by the journal Pediatrics, reviewed the medical records and conducted interviews with clinicians and parents of 305 children who were readmitted within 30 days to Boston Children’s Hospital between December 2012 and February 2013.
It excluded planned readmissions such as those for chemotherapy. Overall, 6.5% of patients were readmitted during the study period.
The study found that 29.5% of the pediatric readmissions were potentially preventable. In more than three-quarters of those cases, researchers determined that hospital-related factors played a role. A significantly smaller proportion were related to the patient (39.2%), often because of issues that arose after discharge, or the primary care physician (14.5%). (Multiple factors played a role in some patients’ readmissions, so the total exceeds 100%.)
The most common hospital-related reasons had to do with how patients are assessed, postoperative complications or hospital-acquired conditions.
(Kaiser Health News, Michelle Andrews July 29, 2016)
The study found that 29.5% of the pediatric readmissions were potentially preventable.