[IMJ On-Air] High readmission rates in cirrhotic patients
Hospitalisation rates for cirrhosis are increasing in Australia in part associated with the high prevalence of obesity and subsequent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. More concerning still is the frequency with which discharged patients are readmitted within 30 days. One systematic review put the average readmission rate at 26%, but the studies cited varied greatly in their inclusion and exclusion criteria and not much is known from Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand. In the December edition of the Internal Medicine Journal researchers at the Austin Hospital Liver Transplant Unit in Melbourne reported a 46% readmission rate among their patients. This was based on a retrospective audit of medical records, which also suggested that a fifth of readmissions might have been preventable. Better adherence to practice guidelines when patients are first hospitalised for cirrhosis may reduce a significant burden on patients and the healthcare system.
Professor James O’Beirne FRCP FRACP (Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service; University of the Sunshine Coast)
Dr Karl Vaz FRACP (Victorian Liver Transplant Unit, Austin Hospital)
- Karl Vaz et al. Rate of early hospital readmission amongst cirrhotic patients is high in Australia: experience from a single liver transplant centre Internal Medicine Journl 2021; 52(12)
- Free access to IMJ for members of the RACP
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