Sneak Peek: Journal of Hospital Medicine

Predicting 30-day pneumonia readmissions using electronic health record data.


BACKGROUND: Readmissions after hospitalization for pneumonia are common, but the few risk-prediction models have poor to modest predictive ability. Data routinely collected in the EHR may improve prediction.

OBJECTIVE: To develop pneumonia-specific readmission risk-prediction models using EHR data from the first day and from the entire hospital stay (“full stay”).

DESIGN: Observational cohort study using backward-stepwise selection and cross validation.

SUBJECTS: Consecutive pneumonia hospitalizations from six diverse hospitals in north Texas from 2009 to 2010.

MEASURES: All-cause, nonelective, 30-day readmissions, ascertained from 75 regional hospitals.

RESULTS: Of 1,463 patients, 13.6% were readmitted. The first-day, pneumonia-specific model included sociodemographic factors, prior hospitalizations, thrombocytosis, and a modified pneumonia severity index. The full-stay model included disposition status, vital sign instabilities on discharge, and an updated pneumonia severity index calculated using values from the day of discharge as additional predictors. The full-stay, pneumonia-specific model outperformed the first-day model (C-statistic, 0.731 vs. 0.695; P = .02; net reclassification index = 0.08). Compared with a validated multicondition readmission model, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pneumonia model, and two commonly used pneumonia severity of illness scores, the full-stay pneumonia-specific model had better discrimination (C-statistic, 0.604-0.681; P less than 0.01 for all comparisons), predicted a broader range of risk, and better reclassified individuals by their true risk (net reclassification index range, 0.09-0.18).

CONCLUSIONS: EHR data collected from the entire hospitalization can accurately predict readmission risk among patients hospitalized for pneumonia. This approach outperforms a first-day, pneumonia-specific model, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pneumonia model, and two commonly used pneumonia severity of illness scores.

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Hospital medicine and perioperative care: A framework for high quality, high value collaborative care
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