J Patient Saf. 2021 Apr 15. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000870. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine the main factors contributing to hospital readmissions and their potential preventability after a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalization at 2 New York City hospitals.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study at 2 affiliated New York City hospitals located in the Upper East Side and Lower Manhattan neighborhoods. We performed case reviews using the Hospital Medicine Reengineering Network framework to determine potentially preventable readmissions among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between March 3, 2020 (date of first case) and April 27, 2020, and readmitted to either of the 2 hospitals within 30 days of discharge.
RESULTS: Among 53 readmissions after hospitalization for COVID-19, 44 (83%) were deemed not preventable and 9 (17%) were potentially preventable. Nonpreventable readmissions were mostly due to disease progression or complications of COVID-19 (37/44, 84%). Main factors contributing to potentially preventable readmissions were issues with initial disposition (5/9, 56%), premature discharge (3/9, 33%), and inappropriate readmission (1/9, 11%) for someone who likely did not require rehospitalization.
CONCLUSIONS: Most readmissions after a COVID-19 hospitalization were not preventable and a consequence of the natural progression of the disease, specifically worsening dyspnea or hypoxemia. Some readmissions were potentially preventable, mostly because of issues with disposition that were directly related to challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Clinicians should be aware of challenges with disposition related to circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.