Background Readmission after colectomy has become an important metric for measuring quality of care. Our aim was to investigate the impact of patient and hospital characteristics on 30-d readmission rates among patients undergoing colectomies in Pennsylvania.
Methods Data were obtained from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, which included all patients undergoing colectomy during 2011 (n = 10,155). Characteristics of non-readmitted and readmitted patients were compared with univariate tests. The primary outcome was 30-d readmission, which was modeled using multivariable logistic regression.
Results Of the 10,155 patients who underwent colectomy, 1492 (14.7%) were readmitted within 30 d of discharge. Readmission was influenced by the underlying diagnosis (P < 0.001). Additionally, readmission was more likely with a Charlson comorbidity index ≥2 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.57, P < 0.001), emergent admission (OR = 1.26, P = 0.001), an in-hospital complication (OR = 1.46, P < 0.001), lowest quartile for surgeon volume (OR = 1.24, P = 0.01), and construction of an ileostomy (OR = 2.31, P < 0.001). Factors associated with decreased likelihood of readmission included laparoscopic surgery (OR = 0.73, P < 0.001). No association with hospital volume was found.
Conclusions A 30-d readmission after colectomy is influenced by numerous patient- and surgeon-related factors. Reducing in-hospital complications, and improving patient education after ileostomy construction, provide substantial targets for intervention. Our data also suggest that there may be a critical range of colectomies performed annually by surgeons, greater than which no additional benefit is conferred in reducing readmissions, but below which there is an increased risk of readmission. Further research is needed to determine the influence of laparoscopic surgery in reducing readmission in equally matched patient populations.
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