Effect of follow-up appointments and admission unit on readmissions in patient with cancer on chemotherapy: A tertiary center experience.
Rahman ZA, Philip J, Mohtadi O, Kahlon PS, and Donthireddy V. Effect of follow-up appointments and admission unit on readmissions in patient with cancer on chemotherapy: A tertiary center experience. J Clin Oncol 2017; 35(15)
J Clin Oncol
Background: Readmissions are a huge burden on patients and organizations, especially in light of the newly emerging bundled payment systems. Many interventions have been proposed to reduce readmissions, including admitting patients to a cancer-specific unit (CSU) and scheduling follow-up appointments after discharge. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify the effect of admission unit and follow-up appointments on readmissions within 30 days among cancer patients receiving outpatient chemotherapy. We included unplanned admissions between July and October 2016 at Henry Ford Hospital. Results: There were 232 inpatient admissions. Of those, 73 (31%) were readmitted. The number of admissions to the CSU was 100 (43%) compared to 132 admissions (57%) to other general practice units (GPUs). Mean length of stay was 5.8 (1-29) days and 3.8 (1-30) days, respectively. Most common malignancies were hematological (27% and 22%) and gastrointestinal (26% and 19%). The most common reasons for admissions were infections (29% and 28%) and pain management (19% and 12%). Of patients who were admitted to the CSU, 24 (24%) were readmitted compared to 49 (37%) for other GPUs, OR 0.53 (95% CI:0.3-0.95, p = 0.033). Readmission rates were also calculated based on the type of appointment scheduled within 30 days of discharge (Primary care (PCP) and oncology, PCP only, Oncology only and neither). Odds ratios of readmission were calculated for the last three categories in comparison to having both appointments. Of admissions that had both appointments, 15 (23%) had a readmission within 30 days. Of admissions that had oncology only appointments, 39 (33%) had a readmission; OR 1.6 (95% CI: 0.8 to 3.3, p = 0.15). Of admissions that had a PCP only appointment, 6 (42%) had a readmission; OR 2.5 (95% CI: 0.7 to 8.3, p = 0.13) and of admissions that had neither appointments, 12 (57%) had a readmission; OR 4.4 (95% CI 1.6 to 12.6, p = 0.0049). Conclusions: Care for cancer patients is challenging as they carry a high risk of readmission, admitting cancer patients to cancer-specific units significantly reduces that risk. Having no follow-up appointments carries a high risk of readmission.