Effects of Day of Discharge on Hospital Readmission After Major Cardiac Surgery

discharge orders with stethoscope
discharge orders with stethoscope
For cardiac surgical patients, the likelihood of readmission has no association with day of discharge.

HealthDay News — For cardiac surgical patients, the likelihood of readmission has no association with day of discharge, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Yas Sanaiha, M.D., from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the correlation between day of discharge and readmission risk among all adult patients undergoing elective cardiac operations at their institution from 2008 to 2016.

A total of 4,877 patients were discharged, 20 percent of them on a weekend or holiday. The researchers found that the overall readmission rate was 11.3 percent, with the rates comparable for weekday discharges and weekend and holiday discharges (11.4 versus 10.9 percent; P = 0.73). 

The proportion of patients discharged to facilities was greater on weekdays than weekends and holidays (15 versus 5.7 percent; P < 0.001). There was a correlation for discharge to a facility with higher all-cause, unadjusted readmission rate (16.7 versus 12.7 percent; P = 0.01). Weekend or holiday discharge was not associated with worse readmission performance after adjustment for patient comorbidities, operative performance, and postoperative complications (adjusted odds ratio, 1; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.32).

“Delaying weekend discharges is unlikely to confer a beneficial reduction in readmission rates,” the authors write. “Given this finding, hospital readmission reduction programs should focus on identifying patients with known risk factors for readmission rather than expanding existing weekend staff coverage.”

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