Lumbar spinal fusion ED readmissions affect HCAHPS scores: 5 key trends


A new study published in The Spine Journal examines emergency department visits among lumbar spine surgery patients.

The study specifically targets how the ED visits associate with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys. The study covers patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery between 2013 and 2015, excluding patients with spinal malignancy or scoliosis.


The study authors found:


1. The patients who had ED visits within 30 days of discharge were independently associated with lower top-box scores for individual HCAHPS questions.


2. The 30-day ED visits were also associated negatively with the perception that the physicians were "always" treating the patient with courtesy and respect; these patients were also less likely to feel the physician was listening carefully to them.


3. Patients who returned to the ED were less likely to recommend the hospital to family and friends, and less likely to rate the hospital overall as a 9 or 10, which are the top box scores.


4. When patients returned to the ED post-discharge, they were less likely to feel their preferences were taken into account when they were leaving the hospital, according to the report.


5. The study authors concluded, "Our results demonstrate a strong association between post-discharge ED visits and low HCAHPS scores for doctor communication, discharge information and global measures of hospital satisfaction in a lumbar surgery population."


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