Peds Revisit Rates Not Good Indicator of Hospital Quality

Likely because of low patient volumes, revisit rates have limited usefulness as a performance measure

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with average performance, few hospitals caring for children are identified as low- or high-performers by condition-specific revisit rates, likely because of low hospital volumes, according to research published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

Naomi S. Bardach, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data for hospital and emergency department visits for patients aged 1 to 20 years to assess pediatric readmission and revisit rates. Visits to 958 hospitals for seven common inpatient pediatric conditions (asthma, dehydration, pneumonia, appendicitis, skin infections, mood disorders, and epilepsy) were examined.

The researchers found low 30-day readmission rates (less than 10.0 percent) for all conditions. Thirty-day revisit rates ranged from 6.2 percent for appendicitis to 11.0 percent for mood disorders. Low visit volumes were observed for the conditions assessed in the study. The only condition for which greater than 1 percent of hospitals were identified as outliers in performance was mood disorders.

"Although there is statistically significant variation overall across hospitals on condition-specific pediatric 30-day revisit rates, few performance outliers can be identified, likely because of low patient volumes at most hospitals," the authors write.

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