We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
From the JAMA Network |

Hospital Readmission as a Quality Measure in Surgery

Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH1; Amir A. Ghaferi, MD, MS1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2015;313(5):512-513. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14179.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


JAMA Surgery

The Relationship Between Timing of Surgical Complications and Hospital Readmission

Melanie S. Morris, MD; Rhiannon J. Deierhoi, MPH; Joshua S. Richman, MD, PhD; Laura K. Altom, MD, MSPH; Mary T. Hawn, MD, MPH

Importance Readmissions after surgery are costly and may reflect quality of care in the index hospitalization.

Objectives To determine the timing of postoperative complications with respect to hospital discharge and the frequency of readmission stratified by predischarge and postdischarge occurrence of complications.

Design, Setting, and Participants This is a retrospective cohort study of national Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program preoperative risk and outcome data on the Surgical Care Improvement Project cohort for operations performed from January 2005 to August 2009, including colorectal, arthroplasty, vascular, and gynecologic procedures. The association between timing of complication with respect to index hospitalization and 30-day readmission was modeled using generalized estimating equations.

Main Outcome and Measure All-cause readmission within 30 days of the index surgical hospitalization discharge.

Results Our study of 59 273 surgical procedures performed at 112 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals found an overall complication rate of 22.6% (predischarge complications, 71.9%; postdischarge complications, 28.1%). The proportion of postdischarge complications varied significantly, from 8.7% for respiratory complications to 55.7% for surgical site infection (P < .001). The overall 30-day readmission rate was 11.9%, of which only 56.0% of readmissions were associated with a currently assessed complication. Readmission was predicted by patient comorbid conditions, procedure factors, and the occurrence of postoperative complications. Multivariable generalized estimating equation models of readmission adjusting for patient and procedure characteristics, hospital, and index length of stay found that the occurrence of postdischarge complications had the highest odds of readmission (odds ratio, 7.4-20.8) compared with predischarge complications (odds ratio, 0.9-1.48).

Conclusions and Relevance More than one-quarter of assessed complications are diagnosed after hospital discharge and strongly predict readmission. Hospital discharge is an insufficient end point for quality assessment. Although readmission is associated with complications, almost half of readmissions are not associated with a complication currently assessed by the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

JAMA Surg. 2014;149(4):348-354. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.4064.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

10 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles