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1.  Quantitative tools for addressing hospital readmissions 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:620.
Background
Increased interest in health care cost containment is focusing attention on reduction of hospital readmissions. Major payors have already developed financial penalties for providers that generate excess readmissions. This subject has benefitted from the development of resources such as the Potentially Preventable Readmissions software. This process has encouraged hospitals to renew efforts to improve these outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe quantitative tools such as definitions, risk estimation, and tracking of patients for reducing hospital readmissions.
Findings
This study employed the Potentially Preventable Readmissions software to develop quantitative tools for addressing hospital readmissions. These tools included two definitions of readmissions that support identification and management of patients. They also included analytical approaches for estimation of the risk of readmission for individual patients by age, discharge status of the initial admission, and severity of illness. They also included patient specific spreadsheets for tracking of target populations and for evaluation of the impact of interventions.
Conclusions
The study demonstrated that quantitative tools including the development of definitions of readmissions, estimation of the risk of readmission, and patient specific spreadsheets could contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes in hospitals.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-620
PMCID: PMC3517364  PMID: 23121730
Hospitalization; Quality assurance; Hospital readmissions
2.  Reducing potentially preventable complications at the multi hospital level 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:271.
Background
This study describes the continuation of a program to constrain health care costs by limiting inpatient hospital programs among the hospitals of Syracuse, New York. Through a community demonstration project, it identified components of individual hospital programs for reduction of complications and their impact on the frequency and rates of these outcomes.
Findings
This study involved the implementation of interventions by three hospitals using the Potentially Preventable Complications System developed by 3M™ Health Information Systems. The program is noteworthy because it included competing hospitals in the same community working together to reduce adverse patient outcomes and related costs.
The study data identified statistically significant reductions in the frequency of high and low volume complications during the three year period at two of the hospitals. At both of these hospitals, aggregate complication rates also declined. At these hospitals, the differences between actual complication rates and severity adjusted complication rates were also reduced.
At the third hospital, specific and aggregate complication rates remained the same or increased slightly. Differences between these rates and those of severity adjusted comparison population also remained the same or increased.
Conclusions
Results of the study suggested that, in one community health care system, the progress of reducing complications involved different experiences. At two hospitals with relatively higher rates at the beginning of the study, management by administrative and clinical staff outside quality assurance produced significant reductions in complication rates, while at a hospital with lower rates, management by quality assurance staff had little effect on reducing the rate of PPCs.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-271
PMCID: PMC3160398  PMID: 21801385
3.  Inpatient hospital complications and lengths of stay: a short report 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:135.
Background
Increasingly, efforts are being made to link health care outcomes with more efficient use of resources. The current difficult economic times and health care reform efforts provide incentives for specific efforts in this area.
Findings
This study defined relationships between inpatient complications for urinary tract infection and pneumonia and hospital lengths of stay in three general hospitals in the metropolitan area of Syracuse, New York. It employed the Potentially Preventable Complications (PPC) software developed by 3M™ Health Information Services to identify lengths of stay for patients with and without urinary tract infection and pneumonia. The patient populations included individuals assigned to the same All Patients Refined Diagnosis Related Groups and severity of illness. The comparisons involved two nine month periods in 2008 and 2009.
The study demonstrated that patients who experienced the complications had substantially longer inpatient hospital stays than those who did not. Patients with a PPC of urinary tract infection stayed a mean of 8.9 - 11.9 days or 161 - 216 percent longer than those who did not for the two time periods. This increased stay produced 2,020 - 2,427 additional patient days.
The study demonstrated that patients who experienced the complications had substantially longer inpatient hospital stays than those who did not. Patients with a PPC of pneumonia stayed a mean of 13.0 - 16.3 days or 232 - 281 percent longer than those who did not for the two time periods. This increased stay produced 2,626 - 3,456 additional patient days. Similar differences were generated for median lengths of stay.
Conclusions
The differences in hospital stays for patients in the same APR DRGs and severity of illness with and without urinary tract infection and pneumonia in the Syracuse hospitals were substantial. The additional utilization for these complications was valued at between $2,000,000 - $3,000,000 for a three month period. These differences in the use of hospital resources have important implications for reduction of health care costs among providers and payors of care.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-135
PMCID: PMC3098808  PMID: 21545741

Results 1-3 (3)