Evaluating the predictive strength of the LACE index in identifying patients at high risk of hospital readmission following an inpatient episode: a retrospective cohort study.

Link to article at PubMed

Evaluating the predictive strength of the LACE index in identifying patients at high risk of hospital readmission following an inpatient episode: a retrospective cohort study.

BMJ Open. 2017 Jul 13;7(7):e016921

Authors: Damery S, Combes G

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To assess how well the LACE index and its constituent elements predict 30-day hospital readmission, and to determine whether other combinations of clinical or sociodemographic variables may enhance prognostic capability.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study with split sample design for model validation.
SETTING: One large hospital Trust in the West Midlands.
PARTICIPANTS: All alive-discharge adult inpatient episodes between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014.
DATA SOURCES: Anonymised data for each inpatient episode were obtained from the hospital information system. These included age at index admission, gender, ethnicity, admission/discharge date, length of stay, treatment specialty, admission type and source, discharge destination, comorbidities, number of accident and emergency (A&E) visits in the 6 months before the index admission and whether a patient was readmitted within 30 days of index discharge.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical and patient characteristics of readmission versus non-readmission episodes, proportion of readmission episodes at each LACE score, regression modelling of variables associated with readmission to assess the effectiveness of LACE and other variable combinations to predict 30-day readmission.
RESULTS: The training cohort included data on 91 922 patient episodes. Increasing LACE score and each of its individual components were independent predictors of readmission (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) 0.773; 95% CI 0.768 to 0.779 for LACE; AUC 0.806; 95% CI 0.801 to 0.812 for the four LACE components). A LACE score of 11 was most effective at distinguishing between higher and lower risk patients. However, only 25% of readmission episodes occurred in the higher scoring group. A model combining A&E visits and hospital episodes per patient in the previous year was more effective at predicting readmission (AUC 0.815; 95% CI 0.810 to 0.819).
CONCLUSIONS: Although LACE shows good discriminatory power in statistical terms, it may have little added value over and above clinical judgement in predicting a patient's risk of hospital readmission.

PMID: 28710226 [PubMed - in process]

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