36% of readmissions within 7 days of discharge are preventable

Early readmissions within seven days of discharge were more likely to be preventable than late readmissions, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers conducted a prospective cohort study at 10 U.S. academic medical centers. They examined 822 adults readmitted to the medical centers. Two site-specific physician adjudicators used surveys to determine if each readmission was preventable.

The study shows 36.2 percent of early readmissions were preventable as compared to 23 percent of late readmissions. Researchers identified hospitals as better locations for preventing early readmissions, whereas outpatient clinics and homes were better for preventing late readmissions.

Researchers noted several study limitations, including the fact physician adjudicators were not blinded to readmission timing, community hospitals were not included in the study and readmissions to non-study hospitals were not included in the results.

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