A report published in the October issue of Medical Care and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates that one in seven elderly patients admitted to hospitals for injuries are readmitted within 30 days.
In performing the study, researchers examined data from the 2006 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases as well as State Emergency Department Databases from 11 states. The study revealed that the most common conditions requiring readmission following an injury-related stay were the need for surgery of the upper or lower extremities, pneumonia, heart failure, septicemia and urinary tract infection. Researchers also discovered that 75 percent of elderly patients hospitalized for injuries were discharged to nursing homes or home health care, and in these situations, higher readmission rates were detected for patients who had endured more severe injuries, received transfusions, experienced a safety indicator event or contracted an infection.
In conclusion, researchers are recommending that in addition to focusing on addressing complications like infections that often result in readmission, the industry needs to put more effort into improving the care these patients are receiving at home and in nursing home facilities.
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