Case Volume and Revisits in Children Undergoing Gastrostomy Tube Placement

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Abstract

Objectives:

Emergency department (ED) visits and hospital readmissions are common after gastrostomy tube (GT) placement in children. We sought to characterize interhospital variation in revisit rates and explore the association between this outcome and hospital-specific GT case volume.

Patients and Methods:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study from 38 hospitals using the Pediatric Health Information System database. Patients younger than 18 years who had a GT placed in 2010 to 2012 were assessed for a GT-related (mechanical or infectious) ED visit or inpatient readmission at 30 and 90 days after discharge from GT placement. Risk-adjusted rates were calculated using generalized linear mixed-effects models accounting for hospital clustering and relevant demographic and clinical attributes, then compared across hospitals.

Results:

A total of 15,642 patients were included. A median of 468 GTs were placed in all the 38 hospitals during 3 years (range: 83–891), with a median of 11.4 GT placed per 1000 discharges (range: 2.4–16.7). Median ED visit for each hospital at 30 days after discharge was 8.2% (range: 3.7%–17.2%) and 14.8% at 90 days (range: 6.3%–26.1%). Median inpatient readmissions for each hospital at 30 days after discharge was 3.5% (range: 0.5%–10.5%) and 5.9% at 90 days (range: 1.0%–18.5%). Hospital-specific GT placement per 1000 discharges (rate of GT placement) was inversely correlated with ED visit rates at 30 (P = 0.007) and 90 days (P = 0.020). The adjusted 30- and 90-day readmission rate and the adjusted 30- and 90-day ED return rates decreased with increasing GT insertion rate (P < 0.001).

Conclusion:

Higher hospital GT insertion rates are associated with lower ED revisit rates but not inpatient readmissions.

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