Hospital readmission risk requires further study

10/18/11  Portland, Ore.

Systematic review of prediction tools shows reliance on them may be premature

Factors contributing to hospital readmission risk remain poorly understood and methodologies to measure risk need further study and refinement, according to research published in the Oct. 19 issue of JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

The study, a systematic review and analysis of 26 validated readmission risk prediction models, was led by Devan Kansagara, M.D., M.C.R., of Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and Honora Englander, M.D., of OHSU, and was conducted for the Portland VA’s Evidence-based Synthesis Program.

“The study corroborates some of what we’ve learned in our transitional care improvement work. The thing that jumped out at us was that readmission risk prediction is really complex,” said Kansagara. “Different factors may contribute more in different populations. The social determinants of health are one set of variables that haven’t been well examined. There’s also a dearth of information about how to identify patients at greater risk of avoidable readmission.”

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About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university, and only academic health center. As Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of the state and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,310 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.