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Online Exclusive, Original Study

Comprehensive Program Reduces Hospital Readmission Rates After Total Joint Arthroplasty

Hospital readmissions are quality indicators of healthcare delivery. Our purpose is to examine the effect of a program designed to reduce readmissions after total joint replacement.

We initiated a comprehensive program with 4 goals: 1) outpatient workup of venous thromboembolism; 2) decrease surgical site infection; 3) early follow-up with primary care physicians; and 4) increase physician awareness of the financial and quality-related ramifications of unplanned readmissions. We then compared readmission rates before our initiative was instituted (2005-2006) to 3 years after implementation (2007-2009).

Readmission rates preintervention were 3.70 and 3.29 for total hip and knee replacement, respectively. Postintervention rates fell to 1.78 and 1.98, respectively, representing a 47.2% reduction of readmission for THR and 39.8% for TKR (P < .05).

These results demonstrate the success of our program in reducing readmissions. This may result in reductions in healthcare costs and improvement in quality of care.

Am J Orthop. 2012;41(11):E147-E151.

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