30% of children's hospital readmissions may be preventable

An examination of 30-day readmissions at Boston Children's Hospital identified nearly 30 percent of said readmissions may have been preventable, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

For the study, researchers examined the medical records of 305 children readmitted within 30 days of discharge between December 2012 and February 2013. The researchers also conducted interviews with clinicians and patients' families.

Researchers determined that 29.5 percent of these readmissions may have been preventable. Of the potentially preventable readmissions, 39.2 percent were related to factors attributable to patient issues that arose after discharge. Hospital factors played a role in more than 75 percent of 30-day readmissions. Multiple factors played a role in the readmission of certain patients, so when considering all factors together the total exceeds 100 percent.

Researchers identified the excessive optimism of both clinicians and family members after a patient's discharge as a potential contributing factor to readmission.

According to Kaiser Health News, Sara Toomey, MD, the study's lead author and the medical director of patient experience at Boston Children's Hospital, said, "One of the things we need to improve upon is engaging families at the time of discharge around how we're feeling and how they're feeling about the status of the child at that point in time...when you have a child coming home from the hospital, there are things you need to know, and the more active people are in creating a plan and making sure they understand it, the better that will help their children."

More articles on quality: 
UW-Madison, Johns Hopkins, Yale launch patient experiences website 
NIH commits $31M to use precision medicine to research health disparities 
Researchers develop portable device to create biologic drugs in the field 

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