Monday 20 October 2014

Over half 'sign-out patients' are re-admitted

Patients who sign themselves out of hospital against medical advice have a high rate of re-admission, according to a new study.

Around 51.9pc of these patients are likely to be re-admitted compared to 5.9pc for the rest of the population.

The research points out that they suffer worse health outcomes and also are a group with a high mortality risk.

Medical charts were examined between January 1, 2011 and December 31 the same year. Results showed that .79pc of patients signed themselves out, which is in keeping with other similar studies showing a rate of between 1-2pc.

"Our study showed that the majority of the patients were male (71pc) and under 65 years of age," the study, led by Dr Abimbola Akintola and colleagues at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, found.

They found problems such as 48pc of the patients having no follow-up plan and 71pc had no discharge summary. Yet all were at risk of adverse outcomes.

The researchers pointed out that as they are already a high-risk group of patients it is important to provide as much additional care as possible through discharge instructions and follow-up.

More robust protocols for this group might help this.

Irish Independent

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