The impact of hospital utilization on patient readmission rate

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We investigate the issue of patient readmission at a large academic hospital in the U.S. Specifically, we look for evidence that patients discharged when post-operative unit utilization is high are more likely to be readmitted. After examining data from 7,800 surgeries performed in 2007, we conclude that patients who are discharged from a highly utilized post-operative unit are more likely to be readmitted within 72 h. Each additional bed utilized at time of discharge increases the odds of readmission on average by 0.35% (Odds Ratio = 1.008, 95% CI [1.003, 1.012]). We propose that this effect is due to an increased discharge rate when the unit is highly utilized.

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