Medical readmissions amongst older New Zealanders: a descriptive analysis.

Link to article at PubMed

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Medical readmissions amongst older New Zealanders: a descriptive analysis.

N Z Med J. 2012 Dec 14;125(1367):24-34

Authors: Robinson T, Kerse N


AIM: Preventing acute hospital readmissions is attractive because it may achieve the triple aims of improving health outcomes, the patient experience, and reducing health costs. The aim of this study is to better understand medical readmissions in older people in New Zealand so as to help decide whether readmissions prevention strategies might be worthwhile.

METHODS: Data on hospitalisation and mortality in New Zealand was obtained from the Ministry of Health. Acute medical admissions in people 65 years and older were examined for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 (n=95,318). We studied prevalence and risk factors for 30-day and 90-day readmissions and characterised those readmissions.

RESULTS: Medical readmissions are common in older people with 16.1% (95%CI 15.8-6.3%) of admissions resulting in a readmission within 30 days of discharge. The risk of readmission was greater in Maori, Pacific people, men, and people living in deprived areas. People being readmitted had more complex and costly illnesses and suffered poorer outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Medical readmissions are a significant issue in terms of health burden, health inequalities and health care costs. Consideration should be given to whether some of these readmissions could be prevented.

PMID: 23321881 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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