Heart failure re-admission: measuring the ever shortening gap between repeat heart failure hospitalizations.
PLoS One. 2014;9(9):e106494
Authors: Bakal JA, McAlister FA, Liu W, Ezekowitz JA
Many quality-of-care and risk prediction metrics rely on time to first rehospitalization even though heart failure (HF) patients may undergo several repeat hospitalizations. The aim of this study is to compare repeat hospitalization models. Using a population-based cohort of 40,667 patients, we examined both HF and all cause re-hospitalizations using up to five years of follow-up. Two models were examined: the gap-time model which estimates the adjusted time between hospitalizations and a multistate model which considered patients to be in one of four states; community-dwelling, in hospital for HF, in hospital for any reason, or dead. The transition probabilities and times were then modeled using patient characteristics and number of repeat hospitalizations. We found that during the five years of follow-up roughly half of the patients returned for a subsequent hospitalization for each repeat hospitalization. Additionally, we noted that the unadjusted time between hospitalizations was reduced ∼40% between each successive hospitalization. After adjustment each additional hospitalization was associated with a 28 day (95% CI: 22-35) reduction in time spent out of hospital. A similar pattern was seen when considering the four state model. A large proportion of patients had multiple repeat hospitalizations. Extending the gap between hospitalizations should be an important goal of treatment evaluation.
PMID: 25211034 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]