A proactive outreach intervention that decreases readmission after hepatectomy

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Abstract

Background.

After hepatectomy, 7%–19% of patients are readmitted within 30 days, accounting for substantial cost and poor patient experience. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of a proactive outreach intervention on readmissions.

Methods.

Consecutive patients undergoing hepatectomy by a single surgeon 2012–2016 were identified in a prospectively maintained database. In August 2013 a postoperative intervention was implemented; an advanced practice provider called each patient within 72 hours of discharge. Readmission rates were compared pre- and postintervention using standard statistics.

Results.

Two hundred thirty-one patients met the inclusion criteria and major hepatectomy was performed in 45.5% of patients. Although the complication rate was similar (25.0% preintervention and 19.4% postintervention, P = .324), readmissions within 30 days of operation decreased from 14.5% pre- to 6.5% postintervention (P = .046). Approximately 30% of outreach interactions required outpatient intervention. Factors associated with readmission on univariate analysis included increased operative time (P = .007), major hepatectomy (P = .012), hemi or extended hepatectomy (P = .032), second stage operation (P = .031), bile leak (P = 0.022), and any complication/modified Accordion complication ≥ 3 within 30 days (P <.0001). On multivariate analysis, lack of post-discharge intervention (P = .012) and bile leak (P = .031) were independently associated with readmission.

Conclusion.

These data demonstrate the efficacy of a proactive communication intervention after discharge to decrease readmissions after hepatectomy. The additional work created by the intervention is likely offset by decreased inpatient care needs and costs. Identification of high-risk populations and application of technology are likely to lead to further improvements.

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