Critical Care

, 19:P563 | Cite as

Readmission to the ICU: is it a big concern? An analysis

  • A Ahmed
  • A Datta
  • A Kar
Open Access
Poster presentation


Quality Indicator Entire Group Financial Issue Tertiary Care Hospital Outcome Difference 
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Readmission to the ICU is an important quality indicator of ICU care. We conducted a prospective study in a level 3 care ICU in Kolkata of a tertiary care hospital to analyze whether there are overall outcome differences when comparing the readmission group with the entire group.


Our prospective study included 2,140 patients admitted to a level 3 care ICU over a period of 1 year. The number of readmissions (n = 85) during the same period was also documented. Readmission was defined as all patients who were transferred back to the ICU prior to hospital death/discharge during the above period. ICU outcome was calculated using the predictive APACHE IV model. Payment methods were documented as either self-paying or corporate/insurance paying. A comparison analysis between the entire group with the readmission group was done using unpaired Student t test and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


In the entire group (n = 2,140), mean APACHE IV was 50.34 ± 31.54 SD (median 42), PMR 15.49, observed deaths 327, ALOS 4.05 days ± 4.55 SD (median 3), SMR 0.99 (CI = 0.88 to 1.1), mean age 60.55 years ± 15.68 SD (median 63), 490 ventilations, 72.71% of patients were self-paying while 27.29% of patients were corporate/insurance paying. In the readmission group (n = 85), mean APACHE IV was 77.16 ± 33.72 SD (median 73), PMR 38.89, observed deaths 42, ALOS 5.23 days ± 4.18 SD (median 4), SMR 1.27 (CI = 0.95 to 1.67), mean age 64.79 years ± 14.40 SD (median 67), 43 ventilations, 75.3% of patients were self-paying while 24.7% of patients were corporate/insurance paying. During comparison between the two groups there were statistically significant differences, with the readmission group having significantly higher APACHE IV (P < 0.0001), PMR (P < 0.0001), ALOS (P = 0.002), age (P = 0.005), and SMR (1.27 vs. 0.99) compared with the entire group. Percentage of patients requiring ventilation (50.59% vs. 22.90%) and mortality rate (49.11% vs. 15.28%) were also significantly higher in the readmission group. Readmission was significantly higher in the self-paying group. Root-cause analysis showed most readmissions were due to deteriorating conditions (desaturation, hypotension, sepsis, arrhythmias); however, it was also associated with cases where transfer policy from the ICU was not followed by stakeholders and financial issues were a cause of early transfer.


Readmission to the ICU was associated with worse outcome in our study group. Lack of adherence to transfer policy by concerned stakeholders was a concern as well as increasing cost of healthcare.

Copyright information

© Ahmed et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  • A Ahmed
    • 1
  • A Datta
    • 1
  • A Kar
    • 1
  1. 1.Medica Superspecialty HospitalKolkataIndia

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