Better preventive care may be able to stop many hospital readmissions among patients who have been treated for severe sepsis, according to a new research letter in JAMA.
For the study, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School examined data on 2,600 patients who were discharged from the hospital after being treated for sepsis. They compared those patients with another group that was discharged after being treated for a range of other serious acute illnesses. Members of both groups were matched based on their length of stay, discharge disposition, sex, and age.
Overall, they found that about 42% of patients in both groups were readmitted to the hospital within 90 days.
However, sepsis patients were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for conditions that the researchers defined as being ambulatory care sensitive, meaning that effective outpatient care may have prevented readmission. Overall, 41.6% of readmissions among sepsis patients were for conditions deemed preventable, compared with 37.1% of readmissions among patients discharged for other reasons.
The most common reasons for readmission among sepsis patients were another case of sepsis, kidney failure, and lung failure.
Hallie Prescott, the lead author of the study, says the research suggests care teams can be more proactive about preventing certain types of sepsis readmissions. "Getting on the right medications and diet, receiving counseling on infection risks and signs, and having kidney function tested more often could be examples of post-hospital interventions that sepsis survivors could benefit more from," she says.
More broadly, Prescott says the study shows hospitals can benefit from using data analysis to customize risk assessments and treatment plans at discharge. Theodore Iwashyna, another author of the study, agrees. "These data argue that combining precision medicine with good primary care could offer real benefits for patients, families, and health systems," he says (Smith, MedPage Today, 3/11; Infection Control Today, 3/10).
The takeaway: A new study finds many hospital readmissions for patients recovering from sepsis could be prevented with more effective post-discharge care management.
Improving sepsis outcomes with Crimson
We mined the Crimson cohort for best practices and clinical trends and identified nine areas where hospitals can change care processes to make the most impact on outcomes. Our infographic outlines process improvement steps and corresponding data points for performance monitoring—and how Crimson can help.