BACKGROUND: Hospital readmission rate is an important quality metric and has been recognized as a key measure of hospital value-based purchasing programs. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the risk factors for hospital readmission with a focus on potentially preventable early readmissions within 48 hours of discharge. DESIGN: This is a retrospective cohort study. SETTINGS: This study was conducted at a tertiary academic facility with a standardized enhanced recovery pathway. PATIENTS: Consecutive patients undergoing elective major colorectal resections between 2011 and 2016 were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Univariable and multivariable risk factors for overall and early (<48 hours) readmissions were identified. Specific surgical and medical reasons for readmission were compared between early and late readmissions. RESULTS: In total, 526 of 4204 patients (12.5%) were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Independent risk factors were ASA score (≥3; OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2), excess perioperative weight gain (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.3), ileostomy (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1-2), and transfusion (OR, 2; 95% CI, 1.4-3), or reoperation (OR, 11.4; 95% CI, 7.4-17.5) during the index stay. No potentially preventable risk factor for early readmission (128 patients, 24.3% of all readmissions, 3% of total cohort) was identified, and index hospital stay of ≤3 days was not associated with increased readmission (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.7-1.2). Although ileus and small-bowel obstruction (early: 43.8% vs late: 15.5%, p < 0.001) were leading causes for early readmissions, deep infections (3.9% vs 16.3%, p < 0.001) and acute kidney injury (0% vs 5%, p = 0.006) were mainly observed during readmissions after 48 hours. LIMITATIONS: Risk of underreporting due to loss of follow-up and the potential co-occurrence of complications were limitations of this study. CONCLUSIONS: Early hospital readmission was mainly due to ileus or bowel obstruction, whereas late readmissions were related to deep infections and acute kidney injury. A suspicious attitude toward potential ileus-related symptoms before discharge and dedicated education for ostomy patients are important. A short index hospital stay was not associated with increased readmission rates.
- Enhanced recovery
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