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Heart Lung. 1999 Sep-Oct;28(5):365-72.

Reducing readmissions to the intensive care unit.

Author information

1
School of Nursing at La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine factors that contributed to readmissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) from the general wards.

DESIGN:

Prospective, descriptive, qualitative, and quantitative.

SETTING:

The Royal Melbourne Hospital, which is a large, metropolitan, university-affiliated tertiary hospital with specialist and general wards. The ICU is a 14-bed medical and surgical adult unit.

PATIENTS:

572 patients admitted to ICU between July 1 and December 31, 1993.

RESULTS:

There were 639 admissions, with 67 (10.5%) being readmissions. This study showed that 63% of all readmissions came from the general wards. The study identified three main factors that contributed to readmissions from the ward: progression of the patient's illness, postoperative care requirements, and inadequate follow-up care on the general wards. Identifying inadequate continuity of care on the general wards as a cause of readmissions to the ICU led to the appointment of an ICU follow-up nurse to facilitate the transition from the ICU to the general ward.

CONCLUSION:

Preliminary results indicate that the appointment of the follow-up nurse has not only reduced the rate of readmissions to the ICU but also decreased the acuity levels of those readmitted.

PMID:
10486454
DOI:
10.1053/hl.1999.v28.a101055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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