Background: Ileostomy surgery is associated with a high readmission rate, and care pathways to prevent readmissions have been proposed. However, the extent to which readmission rates have improved is unknown. This study examined rates of readmission and emergency department visits ("return to hospital," or RTH) across hospitals in Michigan.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing colorectal surgery with ileostomy formation from July 2012 to August 2017 in twenty Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC) hospitals. Primary outcome was RTH within 30 days of surgery. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for RTH. RTH rates over time were calculated, and hospitals' risk-adjusted rates were estimated using a multivariable model. Hospitals were divided into quartiles by risk-adjusted RTH rates, and RTH rates were compared between quartiles.
Results: Of 982 patients, 28.5% experienced RTH. Rates of RTH did not decrease over time. Adjusted hospital RTH rates ranged from 9.4 to 43.3%. The risk-adjusted rate in the best-performing hospital quartile was 17.5% vs. 37.3% in the worst-performing quartile (p < 0.001). Hospitals that were outliers for ileostomy RTH were not outliers for colorectal resection RTH in general.
Conclusions: Rates of RTH following ileostomy surgery are high and vary between hospitals. This suggests inconsistent or ineffective use of pathways to prevent these events and potential for improvement. There is clear opportunity to standardize care to prevent RTH after ileostomy surgery.
Keywords: Colectomy; Colorectal surgery; Hospital readmission; Ileostomy.