Hospital readmissions are a current target of initiatives to reduce healthcare costs. This study quantified the association between having a clinical culture positive for 1 of 3 prevalent hospital-associated organisms and time to hospital readmission.
Retrospective cohort study.
PATIENTS AND SETTING
Adults admitted to an academic, tertiary care referral center from January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2008.
The primary exposure of interest was a clinical culture positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), or Clostridium difficile obtained more than 48 hours after hospital admission during the index hospital stay. The primary outcome of interest was time to readmission to the index facility. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to model the adjusted association between positive clinical culture result and time to readmission and to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Among 136,513 index admissions, the prevalence of hospital-associated positive clinical culture result for 1 of the 3 organisms of interest was 3%, and 35% of patients were readmitted to the index facility within 1 year after discharge. Patients with a positive clinical culture obtained more than 48 hours after hospital admission had an increased hazard of readmission (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.33–1.46) after adjusting for age, sex, index admission length of stay, intensive care unit stay, Charlson comorbidity index, and year of hospital admission.
Patients with healthcare-associated infections may be at increased risk of hospital readmission. These findings may be used to impact health outcomes after discharge from the hospital and to encourage better infection prevention efforts.