Reducing Hospital Readmissions

A collection of research and resources highlighting the causes of avoidable hospital readmissions, case studies, and strategies to improve care transitions.

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 A nurse checks a female hospital patient.

Our healthcare system suffers from a chronic malady—the revolving door syndrome at its hospitals. Some return hospital trips are predictable elements of a treatment plan. Others are unplanned but difficult to prevent: patients go home, new and unexpected problems arise, and they require an immediate trip back to the hospital. But many of these readmissions can and should be prevented.

What Are Hospital Readmissions?

According to a RWJF/Health Affairs analysis of the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, readmissions refers to a patient being admitted to a hospital within a certain time period from an initial admission—generally within 30 days of an initial hospital stay. If a hospital has a high proportion of patients readmitted within a short time frame, it may be an indication of inadequate quality of care in the hospital or a lack of appropriate coordination of postdischarge care.

Stemming from multiple initiatives connected with our work to improve healthcare in the U.S., this collection includes research and case studies on the causes and ramifications of avoidable hospital readmissions, and resources for healthcare practitioners and others who are working to reduce readmissions and improve care transitions.

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Watch the video to learn about innovative solutions from communities across America.

Watch the video to learn about innovative solutions from communities across America.