Potentially preventable 30-day hospital readmissions at a children's hospital.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Readmissions to the hospital are considered a marker of patient safety, and hospitals with high readmission rates are subject to reduced Medicare reimbursements. The extent to which readmissions are preventable remains controversial. Investigators examined 300 pediatric readmissions at a single hospital with input from inpatient providers, primary care providers, patients, family members, and medical records. They determined that approximately 30% of readmissions were preventable. Both patient-related factors such as parental anxiety and hospital-related factors such as hospital-acquired conditions contributed to preventable readmissions. The authors emphasize the importance of interviewing patients and family members as well as medical providers to better characterize the preventability of readmissions. They suggest that identifying factors associated with preventable readmissions will lead to readmission reduction strategies. Multiple strategies targeting the different contributing factors will likely be needed. A past PSNet interview reflected on the challenge of preventing readmissions.