Home covid High readmissions post-op? Look at your ED

High readmissions post-op? Look at your ED

Plus, the vaccination program turns one

January 2022
High readmissions post-op? Take a hard look at your ED

A STUDY that looked at data on nearly 2 million surgical patients finds that high rates of post-op ED visits—and admissions from the ED that result from those visits—can drive readmission rates.

Writing in the Journal of Surgical Research, the authors looked at data on more than 1.9 million patients who underwent one of five procedures (PCI, colectomy, hip replacement, CABG, or aortic valve repair or replacement) between 2008 and 2011 at close to 3,000 hospitals. As Healthcare IT reports, researchers looked at the rates of patients’ post-discharge ED visits, as well as the number of patients readmitted from the ED and the number of readmissions within seven days of ED discharge.

The findings: Hospitals with very high readmission rates had almost three times as many patients readmitted from the ED than those with low readmission rates. Further, hospitals with low readmissions didn’t have increased readmission rates within seven days of ED discharge, which suggests that those EDs may be providing care that prevents readmissions.

The vaccination program turns one

vaccinationAs bad as it’s been, it could have been a whole lot worse. December 2021 marked the first anniversary of covid vaccines first becoming available in the U.S. to health care workers and other first responders.

What kind of impact has that program had? The authors of an issue brief published in December by The Commonwealth Fund write that, without the vaccination program, 1.1 million more Americans would have died in 2021 and more than 10 million more patients would have been hospitalized.

Most of the deaths and hospitalizations averted would have occurred in the late summer and early fall of 2021 as the delta variant spread. “If no one had been vaccinated,” the authors write, “daily deaths from COVID-19 could have jumped to as high as 21,000 per day—nearly 5.2 times the level of the record peak of more than 4,000 deaths per day recorded in January 2021.”

Published in the January/February 2022 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

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