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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Jul;142(1):e20173919.
doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-3919.

Postdischarge Nurse Home Visits and Reuse: The Hospital to Home Outcomes (H2O) Trial

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Postdischarge Nurse Home Visits and Reuse: The Hospital to Home Outcomes (H2O) Trial

Katherine A Auger et al. Pediatrics. .
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Background: Hospital discharge is stressful for children and families. Poor transitional care is linked to unplanned health care reuse. We evaluated the effects of a pediatric transition intervention, specifically a single nurse home visit, on postdischarge outcomes in a randomized controlled trial.

Methods: We randomly assigned 1500 children hospitalized on hospital medicine, neurology services, or neurosurgery services to receive either a single postdischarge nurse-led home visit or no visit. We excluded children discharged with skilled home nursing services. Primary outcomes included 30-day unplanned, urgent health care reuse (composite measure of unplanned readmission, emergency department, or urgent care visit). Secondary outcomes, measured at 14 days, included postdischarge parental coping, number of days until parent-reported return to normal routine, and number of "red flags" or clinical warning signs a parent or caregiver could recall.

Results: The 30-day reuse rate was 17.8% in the intervention group and 14.0% in the control group. In the intention-to-treat analysis, children randomly assigned to the intervention group had higher odds of 30-day health care use (odds ratio: 1.33; 95% confidence interval: 1.003-1.76). In the per protocol analysis, there were no differences in 30-day health care use (odds ratio: 1.14; confidence interval: 0.84-1.55). Postdischarge coping scores and number of days until returning to a normal routine were similar between groups. Parents in the intervention group recalled more red flags at 14 days (mean: 1.9 vs 1.6; P < .01).

Conclusions: Children randomly assigned to the intervention had higher rates of 30-day postdischarge unplanned health care reuse. Parents in the intervention group recalled more clinical warning signs 2 weeks after discharge.

Trial registration: NCT02081846.

Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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