Readmissions after severe sepsis are often avoidable, study shows

After patients are hospitalized for severe sepsis, 90-day readmissions are common. However, many occured for diagnoses that could potentially be prevented or treated early to avoid hospitalization, according to a study in JAMA.

Researchers analyzed about 2,600 patient hospitalizations for severe sepsis which were matched to hospitalizations for other acute medical conditions. They measured ambulatory care sensitive conditions, or diagnoses for which effective outpatient care may reduce hospitalization rates.

Of the 2,617 examined cases, there were 1,115 severe sepsis survivors rehospitalized in 90 days. Collectively, ambulatory care sensitive conditions (like heart failure, pneumonia, urinary tract infection and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation) accounted for 22 percent of the 90-day readmissions.

"The high prevalence and concentration of specific diagnoses during the early postdischarge period suggest that further study is warranted of the feasibility and potential benefit of postdischarge interventions tailored to patients' personalized risk for a limited number of common conditions," the authors concluded.

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