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Vital Signs Are Still Vital: Instability on Discharge and the Risk of Post-Discharge Adverse Outcomes

Resource Type: Articles Research Papers
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Researchers examined the relationship between vital sign instability at hospital discharge and subsequent readmissions and mortality. The presence of one or more unstable vital signs (i.e., temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation) was associated with an increased risk of readmission within 30 days and death. Those discharged with three or more unstable vital signs were almost four times more likely than their counterparts with stable vital signs to die within 30 days of hospital discharge. Abstract is free; the authors discuss their findings and clinical implications in this free article: 1 in 5 hospital patients discharged with unstable vital signs--a likely cause of deaths, readmissions.

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Citation: Nguyen OK, Makam AN, Clark C, et al. Vital Signs Are Still Vital: Instability on Discharge and the Risk of Post-Discharge Adverse Outcomes. J Gen Intern Med. 2016. doi:10.1007/s11606-016-3826-8
readmission risk stratification


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  • This is a great reminder for inclusion on the criteria utilized for discharge- i can appreciate how focused everyone is on length of stay, but this is not the only research that suggests how critical these routine measures can be to leading to readmissions. In particular for COPD patients the temp, resp rate and O2 levels.
    I would love to hear how other use this valuable research as they do root cause analysis on their readmissions? Are you seeing this pattern?

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