Post-operative complications among general-surgery patients were the highest risk factor for readmission within 30 days, but steps can be taken to minimize complications and the risk of readmission, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta studied the records of 1,442 patients who underwent inpatient general surgery at Emory University Hospital between October 2009 and July 2011 and were enrolled in the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. (Patients whose readmission was planned, such as for chemotherapy, were excluded from the study.)
They found that 163 patients (11.3%) were readmitted within 30 days; gastrointestinal problems (27.6%) and surgical infections (22.1%) were the most common reasons for readmission. Pancreatectomy patients had the most with 34 (17.9%) readmissions. Patients whose cancer had spread or who had an open wound were almost twice as likely to be readmitted, according to the report.