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J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Jan;32(1):42-48. doi: 10.1007/s11606-016-3826-8. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

Vital Signs Are Still Vital: Instability on Discharge and the Risk of Post-Discharge Adverse Outcomes.

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. OanhK.Nguyen@UTSouthwestern.edu.
2
Division of Outcomes and Health Services Research, Department of Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. OanhK.Nguyen@UTSouthwestern.edu.
3
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
4
Division of Outcomes and Health Services Research, Department of Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
5
Office of Research Administration, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas, TX, USA.
6
Division of Biostatistics, Department of Clinical Sciences, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
7
PCCI, Dallas, TX, USA.
8
Texas Health Resources, Dallas, TX, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vital sign instability on discharge could be a clinically objective means of assessing readiness and safety for discharge; however, the association between vital sign instability on discharge and post-hospital outcomes is unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the association between vital sign instability at hospital discharge and post-discharge adverse outcomes.

DESIGN:

Multi-center observational cohort study using electronic health record data. Abnormalities in temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation were assessed within 24 hours of discharge. We used logistic regression adjusted for predictors of 30-day death and readmission.

PARTICIPANTS:

Adults (≥18 years) with a hospitalization to any medicine service in 2009-2010 at six hospitals (safety-net, community, teaching, and non-teaching) in north Texas.

MAIN MEASURES:

Death or non-elective readmission within 30 days after discharge.

KEY RESULTS:

Of 32,835 individuals, 18.7 % were discharged with one or more vital sign instabilities. Overall, 12.8 % of individuals with no instabilities on discharge died or were readmitted, compared to 16.9 % with one instability, 21.2 % with two instabilities, and 26.0 % with three or more instabilities (p < 0.001). The presence of any (≥1) instability was associated with higher risk-adjusted odds of either death or readmission (AOR 1.36, 95 % CI 1.26-1.48), and was more strongly associated with death (AOR 2.31, 95 % CI 1.91-2.79). Individuals with three or more instabilities had nearly fourfold increased odds of death (AOR 3.91, 95 % CI 1.69-9.06) and increased odds of 30-day readmission (AOR 1.36, 95 % 0.81-2.30) compared to individuals with no instabilities. Having two or more vital sign instabilities at discharge had a positive predictive value of 22 % and positive likelihood ratio of 1.8 for 30-day death or readmission.

CONCLUSIONS:

Vital sign instability on discharge is associated with increased risk-adjusted rates of 30-day mortality and readmission. These simple vital sign criteria could be used to assess safety for discharge, and to reduce 30-day mortality and readmissions.

Comment in

PMID:
27503438
PMCID:
PMC5215152
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-016-3826-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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