Predicting non-elective hospital readmissions: a multi-site study. Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study Group on Primary Care and Readmissions

J Clin Epidemiol. 2000 Nov;53(11):1113-8. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(00)00236-5.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Heart Failure
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • United States