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Measuring readmissions after surgery: do different methods tell the same story?
Chen Q, Mull HJ, Rosen AK, Borzecki AM, Pilver C, Itani KM. Measuring readmissions after surgery: do different methods tell the same story? American journal of surgery. 2016 Jul 1; 212(1):24-33.
Readmission is widely used as a quality metric to assess hospital performance. However, different methods to calculate readmissions may produce various results, leading to differences in classification with respect to hospital performance. This study compared 2 commonly used approaches to measure surgical readmissions: the 30-day all-cause hospital-wide readmissions (HWRs) and the potentially preventable readmissions (PPRs).
We examined the correlation between hospitals' risk-adjusted HWR and PPR rates and whether there was agreement in categorizing hospital performance between these measures among 111 hospitals with inpatient surgical programs in the Veterans Health Administration.
We found that hospitals' HWR and PPR rates were highly correlated (r = .85, P < .0001). The overall agreement between these 2 methods in categorizing hospital performance was 82% for all surgeries, 82% for colectomy, 84% for coronary bypass, and 87% for hip/knee replacement, respectively.
Despite differences in methodologies, the HWR and the PPR measures provided relatively consistent perceptions of hospitals' performance on surgical readmissions.