Sepsis readmissions decrease with home nursing visits, physician follow-up, study finds

Sepsis survivors are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital if they are provided with a combination of home nursing care and early physician follow-up after discharge, according to a study published in the August issue of Medical Care.


To conduct the study, researchers examined 30-day all-cause hospital readmissions for 170,571 sepsis patients, which they collected from Medicare administrative and claim files and the home health Outcome and Assessment Information Set. They evaluated which patients received early home health nursing, defined as one visit within two days and another visit within a week of hospital discharge, and which patients received early physician follow-up, defined as one outpatient visit in the first week following discharge.

Neither protocol had a significant effect on readmission rates, but the two of them together reduced the likelihood that patients would be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days by 7 percentage points.

"Our study revealed much room for improvement, as only 28.1 percent of sepsis survivors transitioned to HHC received this intervention," said Kathryn Bowles, PhD, a co-author on the study and professor of nursing at the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

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