Dr. Ashish Jha and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston said 1-in-7 patients can expect to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge following major surgery.
However, the rates of 30-day readmission were better in U.S. hospitals with a high surgical volume or with lower surgical mortality rates, although good adherence to surgical process measures had very little effect, MedPage Today reported.
Study co-author Dr. Thomas Tsai said the findings were a "surprise," because they differ sharply from the pattern seen when readmission rates for medical care have been analyzed.
The findings were "very informative research" that starts to tease out readmission rates for areas other than the medical services, Dr. Brian Jack of Boston University told MedPage Today.
There aren't many advances that would result in reduced costs and improved care, but cutting readmission rates is one, Jack said.