Temporal patterns of hospital readmissions according to disease category for patients after elective colorectal surgery

J Eval Clin Pract. 2021 Apr;27(2):218-222. doi: 10.1111/jep.13387. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Rationale: The aim of this study was to identify temporal readmission patterns according to baseline disease categories to provide opportunities for targeted interventions.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of consecutive adult (≥18 years) patients who underwent elective colorectal resections (2011-2017) at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. A prospective administrative database including patient demographics, procedure characteristics, discharge information and specifics on 30-day readmissions (to index facility) including timing and reasons was utilized. The ICD-9 codes were regrouped into the main pathologies Cancer, Crohn's disease (CD)/chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC), and diverticular disease.

Results: In total, 521 (7.2%) out of 7245 patients undergoing inpatient colorectal surgery were readmitted. In all increments of time from discharge (0-2 days: 31.3% of all readmissions, 3-7 days: 32.4% of all readmissions, 8-14 days: 18% of all readmissions, and 15-30 days: 18.3% of all readmissions), reasons for readmission differed significantly (all P < 0.001). Across all disease categories, early readmissions (within 2 days of discharge) were most likely due to ileus/obstruction (53.4% of early readmissions), whereas with 42.5%, infection was the most common cause for late readmissions (>7 days). Patients with home discharge were more likely to be readmitted earlier within the 30-day observation period (P = 0.099), whereas patients with a longer length of index hospital stay (>7 days) were readmitted later (P = 0.080).

Conclusions: Reasons for readmission appear to be universal across different disease categories. Targeted educational and collaborative measures may help to mitigate the burden of hospital readmissions to index facilities.

Keywords: colorectal; disease category; readmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorectal Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Patient Readmission*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors