U Study Explores Mortality Rates for Readmitted Hospital Patients

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Sarah Legg

When it comes to post-operative care, the hospital where you are treated is really a matter of life or death.

A study conducted by the U’s School of Medicine found that the risk of dying from post-surgical complications is substantially reduced when patients are readmitted to the same hospital where they were initially treated. This means going to the closest hospital when problems arise may not be the best choice.

Benjamin Brooke, a lead author in the study, said the research is somewhat obvious.

“It makes sense that if you have complications after a major surgery you have to go back to the same doctors that know you,” he said.

In order to conduct the study, researchers used Medicare data (looking primarily at patients over the age of 65). The group looked at patients who were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Their analysis shows that those who were readmitted at a different hospital were more likely to die from post-surgery complications than those who returned to the initial hospital.

Senior author Samuel Finlayson said the study makes it clear that surgery patients should choose hospitals that they will be near to, just in case complications following a procedure arise.

s.legg@chronicle.utah.edu

@sarahnlegg

 

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