This 6-month retrospective study provided our medical center with a profile of the population of patients readmitted within 31 days of discharge. We found that chronic illness and age greater than 65 years were the high risk factors related to patient readmissions. These 2 attributes are common in critical care patients. In addition, the study indicated that data input and collection procedures must be correctly followed in order to have accurate information on admission and readmission. Accurate information is important to management and external agencies. Accuracy is also important so that future problems with continuous quality improvement can be recognized and resources properly assigned. Recommendations for improving the data collection and reporting procedures and for improving the readmission rates were made to management, to the quality improvement coordinator, and to the quality improvement/risk management director.

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