Discharge Instructions

There is a growing focus on avoiding hospital readmissions to decrease costs and improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Approximately 17% of elderly patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days and many of these readmissions are avoidable (Barrett et al, 2015). There is a growing emphasis on providing patients with discharge instructions to improve health outcomes. In fact, the US government started penalizing hospitals in 2012 for avoidable readmissions (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, n.d.). Disparities between and among hospitals continue around this quality measure.

The purpose of this analysis is to compare the rates of patients who reported that they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home given the rates of readmissions and mortality for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, heart failure, pneumonia and hip/knee replacement at multiple levels, including state, county and hospital type.

This scenario includes benchmarks for each appropriate variable. State-level benchmarks are accessible by filtering by state. Scenarios with multiple outcome variables require filtering by the specific outcome to return the corresponding benchmarks.

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Tutorial: Using the Data

Data Sources

Hospital Compare - Patient Surveys - HCAHPS (data released January 26, 2018)

Hospital Compare - Unplanned Hospital Visits (data released January 26, 2018)

Hospital Compare - Complications and Deaths (data released January 26, 2018)

Hospital Compare - Hospital General Information (data released January 26, 2018)

Defining the Columns

A blank entry indicates unreported data. A value of zero is a defined value and does not represent unreported data.

State: The abbreviated name of the state where the hospital is located.

County: The name of the county where the hospital is located. County names are listed as provided on the US Census Bureau's list of 2010 FIPS Codes for Counties and County Equivalent Entities.

Hospital: The name of the hospital.

Patient Given Information about Recovery: The calculated rate of patients that reported on the HCAHPS patient surveys that they did receive information about what to do during their recovery at home. A higher score is desired as this indicates a high proportion of patients that were provided with information. The reporting period for this measure is April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

Health Outcome Measure: The name of the major complications and death measures. The measures include mortality and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, heart failure, pneumonia and hip/knee replacement.

Health Outcome Rate: The calculated rates for the major complications and death measures. A lower measure is desired as this indicates a lower proportion of mortality or readmissions. The reporting period for these measures is July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016.

Hospital Type: The type of hospital, which includes Acute Care Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.

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Tutorial: Using Excel Output