Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the relatedness of revisits to the index surgical encounter across different pediatric surgical procedures and to explore whether all-cause revisit rates are an accurate surrogate measure for related revisits in this cohort of children.
Methods: We reviewed all-cause revisits occurring within ninety days of the thirty most commonly performed pediatric surgical procedures at 44 children's hospitals between 1/1/2012 and 3/31/2015. For each condition, a team of four surgeons reviewed revisit diagnoses and reached consensus around relatedness to the index surgical encounter. Chi-squared tests were used to test for variation in all-cause and related revisits among procedures. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to measure the association between rankings of procedures by their all-cause and related revisit rates.
Results: 144,535 index encounters were analyzed with an overall revisit rate of 15.0% (21,732). Significant variation was found in both the rates of all-cause revisits among procedures (ranges: 7.6-68.4%, p<0.0001), and in the relative proportions of revisits related the index surgical encounter (range: 0% to 77%, p<0.0001). Poor correlation was found between procedure rankings based on all-cause revisit rates and revisit rates related to the index admission (r=0.33, p=0.07).
Conclusions: The relative proportion of revisits related to the index encounter varies significantly across pediatric surgical conditions, and poor correlation exists at the procedure-level between all-cause and related revisits rates.
Level of evidence: IV.
Keywords: Comparative reporting; Pediatric surgery; Quality metric; Readmission; Revisit diagnoses.
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