Assessment of the safety of discharging select patients directly home from the intensive care unit: a multicenter population-based cohort study.
This retrospective observation cohort study conducted at nine hospitals sought to determine whether discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU) directly to home affected odds of readmission within 30 days or mortality within 1 year. Overall, patients discharged from the ICU to home are younger and less ill than patients who are transferred from the ICU to the hospital ward before returning home. The proportion of patients discharged from ICU to home varied widely by site. When researchers compared patients discharged from ICU to home to patients of similar age and severity of illness upon ICU admission who were discharged home from the hospital ward, they found no differences in odds of readmission or mortality. A related commentary explores why discharges from ICU to home occur and calls for implementing care transitions best practices upon ICU discharge in order to support optimal patient outcomes and prevent readmissions.