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Day of Discharge Not Impact Hospital Readmission After Major Cardiac Surgery, Study Finds

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Healthcare Finance News writes: Research published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery showed that day of discharge does not affect readmissions, despite a common belief that weekend and holiday discharge after major heart surgery may impact hospital readmissions. Researchers reviewed data from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database for all patients who underwent non-emergency heart operations between 2008 and 2016 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. They identified 4,877 patients, of whom nearly 20 percent were discharged on a weekend or holiday. This subset was particularly important because of the so-called “weekend effect,” which has been described as worse outcomes attributed to decreased staffing and increased transitions of care. They found that the use of preoperative beta blockers, tobacco use, and surgical site infections were independent predictors of readmission within 30 days, but day of discharge was not. The study concluded that cardiac surgical patients in the weekend and holiday discharge cohort did not have significantly higher odds of readmission regardless of operative type and discharge disposition. Allocation of resources to changing weekend staffing may be better allocated to surgical site infection prevention and outpatient intervention programs.

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