Researchers from Yale University report that readmissions for COPD correlate with readmissions for other diseases, suggesting that high readmissions rates may be due to the health status of the patient population affected by COPD. In addition, researchers also found an association between COPD readmission rates and patient experience measures.

To understand the relationship between hospital quality and readmissions for COPD, a Yale-led research team analyzed data from more than 3,700 hospitals. They compared COPD readmissions to several quality measures, ranging from mortality rates to patient care experiences. Examples of patient experience measures include communication with nurses, staff responsiveness, pain management, and discharge information.

Findings included:

  • There were significant correlations between COPD readmission rates and all patient experience measures.
  • There were modest correlations between COPD readmission rates and readmission rates for other medical conditions, including heart failure (R2 = 0.39, p < 0.01), acute myocardial infarction (R2 = 0.30, p < 0.01), pneumonia (R2 = 0.38, p < 0.01), and stroke (R2 = 0.29, p < 0.01).
  • There were low correlations between COPD readmission rates and readmission rates for surgical conditions as well as mortality rates for all measured conditions.

The findings suggest there may be common organizational factors that influence multiple disease-specific outcomes—not just COPD.

“As pay-for-performance programs focus attention on individual disease outcomes, hospitals may benefit from in-depth assessments of organizational factors affecting multiple aspects of hospital quality, the researchers wrote. “Focusing on better transitional care may decrease readmissions rates,” said Dr. Jose Gomez, senior author and assistant professor of pulmonary medicine.