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Factors associated with unplanned readmissions within 1 day of acute care discharge: a retrospective cohort study

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posted on 2018-09-14, 00:00 authored by Julie ConsidineJulie Considine, Debra Berry, Evan Newnham, Matthew Jiang, Karen Fox, David Plunkett, Melissa Mecner, Peteris Darzins, Mary O'Reilly
BACKGROUND: Unplanned hospital readmissions are a quality and safety indicator. In Australian, 8% to 11.1% of unplanned readmissions occur ≤1 day of acute care discharge. The aim of this study was to explore the reasons for unplanned hospital readmissions ≤1 day of acute care discharge, and determine what proportion of such unplanned hospital readmissions were potentially preventable. METHODS: A retrospective exploratory cohort design was used to conduct this two phase study. In Phase 1, organisational data from 170 readmissions ≤1 day and 1358 readmissions between 2 and 28 days were compared using the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test. Binary logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with unplanned readmission ≤1 day. In Phase 2, a medical record audit of 162 Phase 1 readmissions ≤1 day was conducted and descriptive statistics used to summarise the study data. Index discharges occurred between 1 August and 31 December 2015. RESULTS: In Phase 1, unplanned readmissions ≤1 day were more likely in paediatric patients (< 0.001); index discharges on weekends (p = 0.006), from short stay unit (SSU) (p < 0.001) or against health professional advice (p = 0.010); or when the readmission was for a Diagnosis Related Group (p < 0.001). The significant predictors of unplanned readmission ≤1 day were index discharge against advice or from SSU, and 1-5 hospital admissions in the 6 months preceding index admission. In Phase 2, 88.3% readmissions were unpreventable and 11.7% were preventable. The median patient age was 57 years and comorbidities were uncommon (3.1%). Most patients (94.4%) lived at home and with others (78.9%). Friday was the most common day of index discharge (17.3%) and Saturday was the most common day of unplanned readmission (19.1%). The majority (94.4%) of readmissions were via the emergency department: 58.5% were for a like diagnosis and pain was the most common reason for readmission. CONCLUSIONS: Advanced age, significant comorbidities and social isolation did not feature in patients with an unplanned readmission ≤1 day. One quarter of patients were discharged on a Friday or weekend, one quarter of readmissions occurred on a weekend, and pain was the most common reason for readmission raising issues about access to services and weekend discharge planning.



BMC health services research





Article number



BioMed Central


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, The Authors