Do timely outpatient follow-up visits decrease hospital readmission rates?

Deanne T. Kashiwagi, M. Caroline Burton, Lisa L. Kirkland, Steven Cha, Prathibha Varkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is widely believed that timely follow-up decreases hospital readmissions; however, the literature evaluating time to follow-up is limited. The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of patients discharged from a tertiary care academic medical center and evaluated the relationship between outpatient follow-up appointments made and 30-day unplanned readmissions. Of 1044 patients discharged home, 518 (49.6%) patients had scheduled follow-up ≤14 days after discharge, 52 (4.9%) patients were scheduled ≥15 days after discharge, and 474 (45.4%) had no scheduled follow-up. There was no statistical difference in 30-day readmissions between patients with follow-up within 14 days and those with follow-up 15 days or longer from discharge (P =.36) or between patients with follow-up within 14 days and those without scheduled follow-up (P =.75). The timing of postdischarge follow-up did not affect readmissions. Further research is needed to determine such factors and to prospectively study time to outpatient follow-up after discharge and the decrease in readmission rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • appointments and schedules
  • care transitions
  • follow-up
  • readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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