BACKGROUND - Readmission to the hospital within 30 days is a measure of quality care; however, only few modifiable risk factors for 30-day readmission in adults with sickle cell disease are known.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective review of the medical records of adults with sickle cell disease at a tertiary care center, to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for 30-day readmission due to vasoocclusive pain episodes. A total of 88 patients ≥18 years of age were followed for 3.5 years between 2010 and 2013, for 158 first admissions for vasoocclusive pain episodes. Of these, those subsequently readmitted (cases) or not readmitted (controls) within 30 days of their index admissions were identified. Seven risk factors were included in a multivariable model to predict readmission: age, sex, hemoglobin phenotype, median oxygen saturation level, listing of primary care provider, type of health insurance, and number of hospitalized vasoocclusive pain episodes in the prior year.
RESULTS - Mean age at admission was 31.7 (18-59) years; median time to readmission was 11 days (interquartile range 20 days). Absence of a primary care provider listed in the electronic medical record (odds ratio 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.91; P = .030) and the number of vasoocclusive pain episodes requiring hospitalization in the prior year were significant risk factors for 30-day readmission (odds ratio 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.44; P <.001).
CONCLUSION - Improved discharge planning and ensuring access to a primary care provider may decrease the 30-day readmission rate in adults with sickle cell disease.
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