Background: Hospital leaders have had mixed success reducing readmissions Little is known about the readmitted patient's perspective.
Methods: A cross-sectional 36-item survey was administered to 1084 readmitted inpatients of The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (an urban academic medical center) and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (an urban community hospital) between November 10, 2010 and July 5, 2011. The survey response rate was 32.9%.
Results: The most commonly reported issues contributing to readmission were: 1) feeling unprepared for discharge (11.8%); 2) difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs) (10.6%); 3) trouble adhering to discharge medications (5.7%); 4) difficulty accessing discharge medications (5.0%); and 5) lack of social support (4.7%). Low-socioeconomic status (SES) (defined as uninsured or Medicaid) patients were more likely than high-SES patients to report difficulty understanding (odds ratio [OR] 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 6.6) and executing (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1, 4.4) discharge instructions, difficulty adhering to medications (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2, 3.0), lack of social support (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2, 3.6), lack of basic resources (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.1, 6.1), and substance abuse (OR 6.7; 95% CI 2.3, 19.2).
Conclusions: Patients reported transition challenges which they believe contribute to illness relapse and readmission. Interventions designed to address these challenges, and tailored for patient characteristics such as SES, may better address the root causes of readmission.
Copyright © 2012 Society of Hospital Medicine.