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Strengthening Nonmedical Support, Social Policy Help Reduce Preventable Readmissions

Research published in Journal of Patient Experience found strengthening nonmedical support systems and general social policy may be required to reduce preventable readmissions. Preventable hospital readmissions are costly and erode the quality of care delivery. Few efforts to incorporate the patient perspectives and social factors associated with readmission preventability exist. For this study researchers sought to identify patient perceptions and social barriers to care related to readmission, using data from 202 respondents readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge from 2 inpatient adult medicine units at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts between January 2012 and January 2016. Few participants indicated that their readmission was due to unattainable health care after discharge. Almost half indicated that they needed more general assistance to stay well outside the hospital. Those reporting a barrier related to at least 2 measures of social determinants of health were more likely to have preventable readmissions. Participants with a history of homelessness or substance use disorder were more likely to have preventable readmissions.

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