The impact on thirty day readmissions for patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admitted to an observation unit versus an inpatient medical unit: A retrospective observational study

Link to article at PubMed

Chron Respir Dis. 2024 Jan-Dec;21:14799731241242490. doi: 10.1177/14799731241242490.


OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the utility of an Observation Unit (OU) in management of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) and to identify the clinical characteristics of patients readmitted within 30-days for AECOPD following index admission to the OU or inpatient floor from the OU.

METHODS: This is a retrospective observational study of patients admitted from January to December 2017 for AECOPD to an OU in an urban-based tertiary care hospital. Primary outcome was rate of 30-day readmission after admission for AECOPD for patients discharged from the OU versus inpatient service after failing OU management. Regression analyses were used to define risk factors.

RESULTS: 163 OU encounters from 92 unique patients were included. There was a lower readmission rate (33%) for patients converted from OU to inpatient care versus patients readmitted after direct discharge from the OU (44%). Patients with 30-day readmissions were more likely to be undomiciled, with history of congestive heart failure (CHF), pulmonary embolism (PE), or had previous admissions for AECOPD. Patients with >6 annual OU visits for AECOPD had higher rates of substance abuse, psychiatric diagnosis, and prior PE; when these patients were excluded, the 30-day readmission rate decreased to 13.5%.

CONCLUSION: Patients admitted for AECOPD with a history of PE, CHF, prior AECOPD admissions, and socioeconomic deprivation are at higher risk of readmission and should be prioritized for direct inpatient admission. Further prospective studies should be conducted to determine the clinical impact of this approach on readmission rates.

PMID:38545901 | PMC:PMC10981268 | DOI:10.1177/14799731241242490

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