The Impact of Early Involvement in a Postdischarge Support Program for Ostomy Surgery Patients on Preventable Healthcare Utilization

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PURPOSE:To evaluate the impact of a postdischarge ostomy support program as an adjunct to nurse-led ostomy care on preventable healthcare utilization.DESIGN:A cross-sectional study.SUBJECTS AND SETTING:A postdischarge support program offered by an ostomy product's manufacturer provides persons living with an ostomy with patient-centered and easily accessible assistance. Individuals who underwent ostomy surgery within 18 months prior to the survey date were selected from an ostomy patient database maintained by the ostomy patient support program provider. Of 7026 surveys sent to program enrollees, 493 (7%) responded, compared with 225 (5%) out of 4149 surveys sent to individuals in a comparison group. The 2 groups were similar in demographics. A majority of the survey respondents were female (60% of program enrollees vs 55% of respondents in the comparison group). Among the program enrollees, 44% had colostomy, 43% had ileostomy, 10% had urostomy, and 4% had at least 2 types of ostomy surgery compared with 52%, 32%, 12%, and 4% of the respondents in a comparison group, respectively.METHODS:The study compared hospital readmission and emergency room (ER) visit rates attributable to ostomy complications between program enrollees and respondents in the comparison group. The event rates were measured in 2 study periods: within the first month of discharge and after the first month of discharge. Eligible individuals received an online survey that included the following domains: characteristics of ostomy surgery; readmissions and ER visits within the first month or after the first month of discharge, including reasons for preventable events; and level of health care access. Multivariate logistic regressions controlling for covariates were applied to investigate associations between program enrollment and ostomy-related readmission or ER visit rates.RESULTS:Logistic regression analyses showed that, when compared with respondents in the comparison group, program enrollees had a significantly lower likelihood of being readmitted and visiting the ER due to ostomy complications after the first month of hospital discharge and up to 18 months postdischarge (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27-0.73; and OR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.22-0.64, respectively).CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that enrolling patients in the postdischarge ostomy support program provides an effective approach to reducing preventable healthcare utilization.

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