Journal Article

Patients' and providers' perceptions of the preventability of hospital readmission: a prospective, observational study in four European countries.

van Galen LS, Brabrand M, Cooksley T, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2017;26:958-969.

The use of readmission rates as a metric of care quality remains controversial, as United States–based studies have shown that only a minority of readmissions are preventable. This prospective cohort study, conducted in 4 European countries, sought to evaluate the preventability of 30-day readmissions after hospitalization from both clinician and patient perspectives. Investigators found that 27.8% of readmissions were considered predictable (by the majority of those interviewed) and 14.4% were considered preventable. However, there was little consensus between physicians, nurses, patients, and caregivers about whether readmissions were preventable and why readmissions occurred. The only factor that consistently predicted readmission risk was if patients reported not feeling ready to go home on the day of discharge. This study adds to the literature questioning the utility of readmission rates as a measure of the quality of care.