Poor Surgical Planning Could Increase Risk of Hospital Readmissions

Poor planning and use of hospital beds could drive some surgical patients home too early, leading to increased hospital readmissions, according to researchers at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The researchers tracked patient movement at a large, academic medical center in the United States. The study includes surgical discharge data from fiscal year 2007 — covering more than 7,800 surgery patients who collectively spent 35,500 nights at the facility — occupancy rates, day of the week, staffing levels and surgical volume.


They found patients discharged when the hospital was busiest were 50 percent more likely to return for treatment within three days. This suggests recovery was incomplete when patients were first released, the authors said. Risk factors include high pressure to turn over patients and lack of discharge planning. The researchers recommend better planning and other logistical solutions to avoid these problems.

Related Articles on Readmissions:

Hospital Readmissions Linked to Availability of Care, Socioeconomics

Expensive Hospital Readmission Linked to Healthcare-Associated Infections

NQF Endorses All-Cause Unplanned Readmissions Measures

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