Health Care Management Science

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 29–36 | Cite as

The impact of hospital utilization on patient readmission rate

  • David Anderson
  • Bruce Golden
  • Wolfgang Jank
  • Edward Wasil


We investigate the issue of patient readmission at a large academic hospital in the U.S. Specifically, we look for evidence that patients discharged when post-operative unit utilization is high are more likely to be readmitted. After examining data from 7,800 surgeries performed in 2007, we conclude that patients who are discharged from a highly utilized post-operative unit are more likely to be readmitted within 72 h. Each additional bed utilized at time of discharge increases the odds of readmission on average by 0.35% (Odds Ratio = 1.008, 95% CI [1.003, 1.012]). We propose that this effect is due to an increased discharge rate when the unit is highly utilized.


Healthcare operations Readmission rate Hospital utilization 


  1. 1.
    Akaike H (1974) A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Trans Autom Control 19:716–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson D, Golden B, Jank W, Price C, Wasil E (2011) Examining the discharge practices of surgeons at a large medical center. Health Care Management Science (Forthcoming)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bohmer RMJ, Newell J, Torchiana DF (2002) The effect of decreasing length of stay on hospital discharge destination and readmission after coronary bypass operation. Surgery 132:10–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Campbell AJ, Cook JA, Adey G, Cuthbertson BH (2008) Predicting death and readmission after intensive care discharge. Br J Anaesth 100:656–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Coleman EA, Parry C, Chalmers S, Min SJ (2006) The care transitions intervention: results of a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 166:1822–1828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cowper PA, DeLong ER, Hannan EL, Muhlbaier LH, Lytle BL, Jones RH, Holman WL, Pokorny JJ, Stafford JA, Mark DB, Peterson ED (2007) Is early too early? Effect of shorter stays after bypass surgery. Ann Thorac Surg 83:100–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Delaney CP, Fazio VW, Senagore AJ, Robinson B, Halverson AL, Remzi FH (2001) ‘Fast track’ postoperative management protocol for patients with high co-morbidity undergoing complex abdominal and pelvic colorectal surgery. Br J Surg 88:1533–1538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dobson G, Lee H-H, Pinker E (2011) A model of ICU bumping. Working Paper. University of RochesterGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goodney PP, Stukel TA, Lucas FL, Finlayson EV, Birkmeyer JD (2003) Hospital volume, length of stay, and readmission rates in high-risk surgery. Ann Surg 238:161–167Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hannan EL, Racz MJ, Walford G et al (2003) Predictors of readmission for complications of coronary artery bypass graft surgery. JAMA 290(6):773–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hasan M (2001) Readmission of patients to hospital: still ill-defined and poorly understood. Int J Qual Health Care 13:177–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hwang SW, Li J, Gupta R, Chien V, Martin RE (2003) What happens to patients who leave hospital against medical advice? Can Med Assoc J 168:417–420Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Niehaus D, Koen L, Galal U, Dhansay K, Oosthuizen P, Emsley R, Jordan E (2008) Crisis discharges and readmission risk in acute psychiatric male inpatients. BMC Psychiatry 1:8–44Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Anderson
    • 1
  • Bruce Golden
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Jank
    • 1
  • Edward Wasil
    • 2
  1. 1.R.H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Kogod School of BusinessAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations