Post-hospitalization transitions: Examining the effects of timing of primary care provider follow-up.
ABSTRACT The transition between the inpatient and outpatient setting is a high-risk period for patients. The presence and role of the primary care provider (PCP) is critical during this transition. This study evaluated characteristics and outcomes of discharged patients lacking timely PCP follow-up, defined as within 4 weeks of discharge.
This prospective cohort enrolled 65 patients admitted to University of Colorado Hospital, an urban 425-bed tertiary care center. We collected patient demographics, diagnosis, payer source and PCP information. Post-discharge phone calls determined PCP follow-up and readmission status. Thirty-day readmission rate and hospital length of stay (LOS) were compared in patients with and without timely PCP follow-up.
The rate of timely PCP follow-up was 49%. For a patient's same medical condition, the 30-day readmission rate was 12%. Patients lacking timely PCP follow-up were 10 times more likely to be readmitted (odds ratio [OR] = 9.9, P = 0.04): 21% in patients lacking timely PCP follow-up vs. 3% in patients with timely PCP follow-up, P = 0.03. Lack of insurance was associated with lower rates of timely PCP follow-up: 29% vs. 56% (P = 0.06), but did not independently increase readmission rate or LOS (OR = 1.0, P = 0.96). Index hospital LOS was longer in patients lacking timely PCP follow-up: 4.4 days vs. 6.3 days, P = 0.11.
Many patients discharged from this large urban academic hospital lacked timely outpatient PCP follow-up resulting in higher rates of readmission and a non-significant trend toward longer hospital LOS. Effective transitioning of care for vulnerable patients may require timely PCP follow-up.
- Journal of General Internal Medicine 07/2012; 27(10):1377-82. · 3.28 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common, costly, and potentially lethal. Therapeutic anticoagulation requires timely, closely monitored medical follow-up. If ineffective, clinical outcomes worsen and resource utilization increases. This risk may be magnified in uninsured patients. This study examined VTE care in hospital patients and investigated differences based on insurance status. We performed a retrospective chart review on medical VTE patients at an academic teaching hospital between December 1, 2007 and April 30, 2009. We reviewed medical records for demographics, insurance, admission status, length of stay (LOS), and 30-day Emergency Department (ED) recidivism and hospital readmission. Measured outcomes were analyzed based on payer source. We identified 234 medical VTE patients; 67 patients were uninsured (28.6%). 106 patients (45.3%) presented with deep vein thrombosis only. Most VTE patients were admitted to the hospital (171; 73.1%), including all 128 pulmonary embolism patients. Admitted uninsured patients averaged a LOS of 5.5 versus 3.7 days for insured (P = 0.03), with ED recidivism rates of 26.1 versus 11.3%, respectively (P = 0.02). Average cost for all VTE care in uninsured patients was $12,297 versus $7,758 for insured patients (P = 0.04). This study identified disparities in medical care and resource utilization for medical VTE patients based on insurance. Uninsured VTE patients were hospitalized nearly two additional days and were more than two times as likely to return to the ED within 30 days compared to insured patients. Additional research is needed to explain these disparities, and to explore system improvements for the uninsured VTE patient.Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis 08/2011; 32(4):393-8. · 1.99 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Professional medical societies endorse prompt, consistent discharge communication to primary care providers (PCPs) on discharge. However, evidence is limited about what clinical elements to communicate. Our main goal was to identify and compare the clinical elements considered by PCPs and pediatric hospitalists to be essential to communicate to PCPs within 2 days of pediatric hospital discharge. A secondary goal was to describe experiences of the PCPs and pediatric hospitalists regarding sending and receiving discharge information. A survey of physician preferences and experiences regarding discharge communication was sent to 320 PCPs who refer patients to 16 hospitals, with an analogous survey sent to 147 hospitalists. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and χ(2) analyses were performed. A total of 201 PCPs (63%) and 71 hospitalists (48%) responded to the survey. Seven clinical elements were reported as essential by >75% of both PCPs and hospitalists: dates of admission and discharge; discharge diagnoses; brief hospital course; discharge medications; immunizations given during hospitalization; pending laboratory or test results; and follow-up appointments. PCPs reported reliably receiving discharge communication significantly less often than hospitalists reported sending it (71.8% vs 85.1%; P < .01), and PCPs considered this communication to be complete significantly less often than hospitalists did (64.9% vs 79.1%; P < .01). We identified 7 core clinical elements that PCPs and hospitalists consider essential in discharge communication. Consistently and promptly communicating at least these core elements after discharge may enhance PCP satisfaction and patient-level outcomes. Reported rates of transmission and receipt of this information were suboptimal and should be targeted for improvement.Hospital pediatrics. 01/2014; 4(1):9-15.