Decreasing hospital readmission in ileostomy patients: Results of novel pilot program

Shaffer VO, Owi T, Kumarusamy MA, Sullivan PS, Srinivasan JK, Maithel SK, Staley CA, Sweeney JF, Esper G. Decreasing Hospital Readmission in Ileostomy Patients: Results of Novel Pilot Program. J Am Coll Surg. 2017 Apr;224(4):425-430.

Full-text for Emory users.

BACKGROUND: Nearly 30% of patients with newly formed ileostomies require hospital readmission from severe dehydration or associated complications. This contributes to significant morbidity and rising healthcare costs associated with this procedure. Our aim was to design and pilot a novel program to decrease readmissions in this patient population.

STUDY DESIGN: An agreement was established with Visiting Nurse Health System (VNHS) in March 2015 that incorporated regular home visits with clinical triggers to institute surgeon-supervised corrective measures aimed at preventing patient decompensation associated with hospital readmissions. Thirty-day readmission data for patients managed with and without VNHS support for 10.5 months before and after implementation of this new program were collected.

RESULTS: Of 833 patients with small bowel procedures, 162 were ileostomies with 47 in the VNHS and 115 in the non-VNHS group. Before program implementation, VNHS (n = 24) and non-VNHS patients (n = 54) had similar readmission rates (20.8% vs 16.7%). After implementation, VNHS patients (n = 23) had a 58% reduction in hospital readmission (8.7%) and non-VNHS patient hospital readmissions (n = 61) increased slightly (24.5%). Total cost of readmissions per patient in the cohort decreased by >80% in the pilot VNHS group.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a novel program reduced the 30-day readmission rate by 58% and cost of readmissions per patient by >80% in a high risk for readmission patient population with newly created ileostomies. Future efforts will expand this program to a greater number of patients, both institutionally and systemically, to reduce the readmission-rate and healthcare costs for this high-risk patient population.

Readmission rates following parathyroidectomy for renal disease

One discussion this week included readmission rates following parathyroidectomy.


References: Ferrandino R, et al. Unplanned 30-day readmissions after parathyroidectomy in patients with chronic kidney disease: a nationwide analysis. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. 2017 Dec;157(6):955-965. doi:10.1177/0194599817721154.

Summary: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In a total of 2756 parathyroidectomies performed in patients with chronic kidney disease, 17.2%  had at least one unplanned readmission rate within the first 30-days, and 2.4% had more than one readmission. Overall, readmission rates for chronic kidney disease patients are nearly 5-times that of the general population (Ferrandino et al, 2017).

Hypocalcemia/hungry bone syndrome accounted for 40% of readmissions. While readmissions occurred uniformly throughout the 30 days after discharge, those for hypocalcemia/hungry bone syndrome peaked in the first 10 days and decreased over time.

Weight loss/malnutrition at time of parathyroidectomy and length of stay of 5-6 days conferred increased risk of readmission with adjusted odds ratios of 3.31 and 1.87, respectively. Relative to primary hyperparathyroidism, parathyroidectomies performed for secondary hyperparathyroidism were associated with higher risk of readmission.

The authors conclude: “While there are few patient-specific predictors of readmission, we note that the bulk of these readmissions can be attributed to hypocalcemia. To improve readmission rates after parathyroidectomy in CKD patients, we propose focusing on accurate, appropriate medication reconciliation, and optimizing communication and transitions of care to outside facilities (skilled nursing, dialysis, etc.) to facilitate the comprehensive care of this high-risk patient population” (Ferrandino et al, p.964).

Additional Reading: Sharma J, et al. Improved long-term survival of dialysis patients after near-total parathyroidectomy. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2012 Apr;214(4):400-407. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.12.046.

Westerdahl J, et al. Risk factors for postoperative hypocalcemia after surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism. Archives of Surgery. 2000 Feb;135(2):142-147.