Case Management

Study identifies ways to reduce readmission risks among heart patients

Case Management Insider, June 9, 2015

Looking for a better way to gauge readmission risk? University of Texas (UT) researchers say they’ve found a way to spot which congestive heart failure patients are most likely to wind up back in the hospital after discharge.

The study, published in the March issue of Information Systems Research, sought to find a way to determine whether a patient will need to return to the hospital as well as how often and when it will happen, according to a UT press release. Researchers tested their model using data from 67 Texas hospitals over four years.
 
“Our study highlights the role of predictive analytics not only to identify high-risk patients, but also to reduce the costs associated with future readmissions of patients who suffer from chronic diseases,” Dr. Indranil Bardhan, professor and area coordinator of information systems at the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas said in the press release.
 
The system will help the hospital better predict which patients need additional support once they leave the facility. “Close to 30% of congestive heart failure patients were readmitted within 30 days from 2006 to 2010 in the Dallas-Fort Worth region,” Dr. Zhiqiang “Eric” Zheng, professor of information systems in the Naveen Jindal School of Management said in the press release. “Building an early warning system that identifies predictors for likely readmissions is crucial.”
 
In addition to gaining a better understanding of patient readmission risk, researchers also found some interesting facts that other organizations might want to take note of, including the following:
  • Medicare patients are at higher risk for a readmission than other patients
  • Medicare patient readmission risk drops after their initial readmission
  • Using a cardiology and administrative information system can help reduce readmissions—hospitals that use them have lower readmission rates than organizations that don’t
  • Patients who go back to the same hospital for treatment have a lower risk of readmission than those who go to different facilities
“Hospitals can use the approach that we have developed to not only identify and stratify patients based on their readmission risk propensity, but also reduce their frequency of future readmissions by delivering appropriate treatment and providing more efficient post-acute care,” Bardhan said.
 
Click here for additional details about the study.

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