Study Calculates Potential Preventability of 30-Day Readmission

August 4, 2016

Nearly 30% of pediatric 30-day readmissions may be preventable, suggests a study in the online Pediatrics.

“Hospital readmission rates are increasingly used to assess quality. Little is known, however, about potential preventability of readmissions among children,” researchers wrote. “Our objective was to evaluate potential preventability of 30-day readmissions using medical record review and interviews.”

The cross-sectional study included 305 children with unplanned readmissions to Boston Children’s Hospital within 30 days of discharge. Researchers reviewed medical records and more than 1400 interviews with parents, inpatient clinicians, primary care providers, and patients age 13 or older, and then rated the potential preventability of each readmission. In 31.2% of the cases, the interviews proved new information on the readmission.



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Overall, 29.5% of the readmissions were potentially preventable, according to the study. Those preventable readmissions tended to occur sooner after discharge (5 days on average) than readmissions judged not preventable (9 days on average).

Hospital factors played a role in more than 75% of the potentially preventable readmissions, Kaiser Health News reported. Most commonly, those factors were associated with patient assessment, postoperative complications, or hospital-acquired conditions.

Patient factors, such as issues that occurred post-discharge, were in play in 39.2% of the potentially preventable readmissions, according to the Kaiser Health News article. Primary care physician factors occurred in 14.5% of the cases.   

Hospital and patient factors are associated with potential preventability and may provide targets for quality improvement efforts,” researchers concluded. “Interviews contribute important information and should be considered when evaluating readmissions.”—Jolynn Tumolo



Toomey SL, Peltz A, Loren S, et al. Potentially preventable 30-day hospital readmissions at a children’s hospital [Published ahead of print Julu 22, 2016]l. Pediatrics.

Jenkins K. Full-dose NOAC safe with single dose-reduction factor. MedPage Today. July 29, 2016.