Hospital Discharge Day Affects Dialysis Patient Readmission Risk

Patients discharged on Fridays and Saturday are more likely to be readmitted within 30 days than those discharged Sunday through Thursday.
Patients discharged on Fridays and Saturday are more likely to be readmitted within 30 days than those discharged Sunday through Thursday.

Dialysis patients discharged from hospitals on Fridays or Saturdays are at increased risk of readmission within 30 days compared with those who are discharged on other days, according to findings presented at the 52nd congress of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association in London.

The finding suggests that intensified medical attention and monitoring, such as expanded weekend coverage by a dialysis-specific case manager may be needed for patients discharged on Friday or Saturday, researchers concluded.

Len Usvyat, PhD, and colleagues at Fresenius Medical Care North America, studied 1,305 dialysis patients in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The cohort had 3,206 index hospitalizations and 1,123 readmissions within 30 days of discharge, for a mean readmission rate of 35%. The 30-day readmission rates for patients discharged on Friday and Saturday were 35% and 37%, respectively. The rates were 32%, 31%, 34%, 34%, and 33% for those discharged on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, respectively. Compared with Sunday through Thursday discharges, Friday and Saturday discharges were associated with a significant 22% increased risk of 30-day readmission, the investigators reported.

“In light of the substantial rural nature of this population, further investigations of other geographically distributed populations are warranted to confirm the findings of this study,” they concluded in their study abstract.

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