Azeem Majeed, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Majeed is a general practitioner in the primary care practice of Dr. Curran & Partners in London. The Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London has received funding from the NHS for research on rehospitalization.
Majeed A.; Reducing 30-Day Rehospitalization. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156:252. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-3-201202070-00026
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(3):252.
TO THE EDITOR:
As in the United States, rehospitalization imposes a significant strain on the health system in England. In the 2009–2010 financial year, around 535 000 patients aged 16 years or older were rehospitalized within 28 days of discharge from a National Health Service (NHS) hospital. About 11.2% of hospital admissions in this age group result in rehospitalization, with a wide variation between both primary care practices and primary care trusts (that is, the organizations in England's NHS responsible for overseeing local health services) (1).
Many of the interventions examined in the systematic review by Hansen and colleagues (2) have been tried in England's NHS, generally with a similar lack of success. Because of the considerable burden of rehospitalization on both patient health and NHS finances, we continue to look for ways to address this issue. Fines for NHS hospitals have been advocated as one solution, and the impact of this practice on rehospitalization remains to be seen (3).
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