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Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Mar;107(3):947-953. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.08.070. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Identifying Drivers of Multiple Readmissions After Pulmonary Lobectomy.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; National Clinician Scholars Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
2
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
4
Section of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
5
Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Electronic address: anthony.kim@med.usc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Readmissions after pulmonary lobectomy for lung cancer are important markers of healthcare quality for surgeons and hospitals. The implications on resources and quality are magnified when examining patients who require multiple readmissions within the perioperative period.

METHODS:

The Nationwide Readmission Database between 2013 and 2014 was investigated for patients with a primary diagnosis of lung cancer who underwent pulmonary lobectomy. Using adjusted hierarchical regression models, demographic and clinical factors during the index hospitalization were investigated for associations with single and multiple readmissions during the 90-day postoperative period. First and second readmissions during this period were compared for the primary diagnosis at the time of readmission using Clinical Classification Software codes.

RESULTS:

Of the 41,576 lobectomies during the study period 7,030 patients (16.9%) were readmitted. Among this group 1,554 patients (3.7%) had at least two readmissions. After adjustment for other factors, postoperative arrhythmia (odds ratio [OR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-1.83; p < 0.0001), postoperative infection (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.11-2.17; p = 0.01), and postoperative sepsis (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.08-2.67; p = 0.02) during the index hospitalization were associated with an increased risk of at least two readmissions. The most frequent Clinical Classification Software diagnosis for first readmissions was "postoperative complications" (892, 12.7%) and for second readmissions was heart disease (173, 11.2%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately one-fifth of patients readmitted after pulmonary lobectomy would go on to be readmitted two or more times within 90 days. Although first readmissions were most likely to present with postoperative infection or complication, second readmissions were most likely to present with heart disease.

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