Objective: To determine clinical and patient-centered factors predicting non-elective hospital readmissions.
Design: Secondary analysis from a randomized clinical trial.
Clinical setting: Nine VA medical centers.
Participants: Patients discharged from the medical service with diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Main outcome measurement: Non-elective readmission within 90 days.
Results: Of 1378 patients discharged, 23.3% were readmitted. After controlling for hospital and intervention status, risk of readmission was increased if the patient had more hospitalizations and emergency room visits in the prior 6 months, higher blood urea nitrogen, lower mental health function, a diagnosis of COPD, and increased satisfaction with access to emergency care assessed on the index hospitalization.
Conclusions: Both clinical and patient-centered factors identifiable at discharge are related to non-elective readmission. These factors identify high-risk patients and provide guidance for future interventions. The relationship of patient satisfaction measures to readmission deserves further study.