Patients with healthcare-associated infections may be at higher risk for readmission

Patients with healthcare-associated infections may be at higher risk for readmissions, according to a study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

For the study, researchers examined data from patients who were admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center between January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2008.   They looked at patient data to determine which patients had a positive MRSA, VRE, or C. difficile culture obtained more than 48 hours after hospital admission.  This data was compared to a control group of patients who did not have a positive culture.

Key findings:

  • Patients with a positive clinical culture were significantly older, were more likely to be male and to have an ICU stay.
  • Median time to readmission among those with a positive clinical culture was 27 days, compared with 59 days for patients without a positive clinical culture result.
  • Patients with a positive culture were readmitted within 30 days 25% of the time, compared to 15%  for patients with a negative result or no clinical culture.

(Sources: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, http://www.jstor.org, June 2012; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, May 8, 2012)