Care fragmentation is associated with increased short-term mortality during postoperative readmissions: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

BACKGROUND: Recent trends toward regionalization of complex surgical procedures may increase the risk for care fragmentation during readmissions. Conflicting conclusions have been reported regarding risk factors and consequences of nonindex readmissions (ie, readmission to a separate hospital than the one where surgery was originally performed). We seek to perform a comprehensive review of existing literature. METHODS: Four electronic databases were searched to identify all eligible studies examining the risk factors and outcomes of postoperative nonindex readmission. The pooled odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were calculated using a random-effects model. RESULTS: A total of 444 studies were retrieved from database searches and 23 were included after applying eligibility criteria. Nonindex readmissions constituted 10%-47% of 30-day readmissions. Risk factors for nonindex readmission predominantly represented proxy variables for patient care access that may not be modifiable, such as residing in a location further away from the original hospital, being older in age, living in rural areas, and having lower income. Nonindex readmissions occurred more commonly under urgent conditions. Ten of the 14 studies that employed short-term mortality as the primary outcome concluded that nonindex readmissions were significantly associated with higher mortality after adjusting for available confounders. CONCLUSION: The findings of the current study suggest that nonindex readmission is a common phenomenon after surgery and is associated with increased mortality. Further studies are required to evaluate whether enhancing health information continuity between hospitals would be helpful for mitigating the adverse consequences of care fragmentation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Juo, Y-Y; Sanaiha, Y; Khrucharoen, U; Chang, BH; Dutson, E; Benharash, P

Published Date

  • March 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 165 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 501 - 509

PubMed ID

  • 30638610

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30638610

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7361

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.surg.2018.08.021


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States