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Angioplasty Patients May Be at Risk for Rehospitalization
Date:11/29/2011

in terms of preventing other episodes. You have the disease and have been treated for this episode. Now we need to treat the rest of you to decrease the chance that you will have another episode in the course of this chronic and progressive disease."

The second study looked at the readmission rate among 11,118 patients from an Italian heart registry. After three years, they had a 7 percent to 20 percent rate of hospital readmission. The 7,867 rehospitalizations were for new procedures to open arteries, heart failure, heart attack or serious bleeds.

"Hospital admissions are frequent, both in the first year and in the following years after," said study author Dr. Gianluca Campo, a cardiologist at the Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria di Ferrara in Ferrara, Italy. "The most dangerous adverse events are heart failure and bleeding events. These complications have a strong negative impact on long-term mortality."

Earlier identification of individuals who are at high risk for readmission after angioplasty or other cardiovascular procedures is key, said Dr. Adrian F. Hernandez, a cardiologist at Duke University who co-authored an editorial accompanying the new studies. Much of this onus falls on the hospitals that treat and release these patients, he said. "Understand the holes in your system: Do you even know your readmission rates, and can you develop metrics around readmission?" he asked.

Also, "identify the barriers in transitions of care: Do patients have the right information when they walk out the door? Do they know who to call with problems? Do they have their medications? Do they have appropriate follow-up scheduled? Can they get to the appointment?," Hernandez asked. "Follow-up ideally within seven to 10 days with a generalist or cardiologist is suitable."

Certain factors that may place a patient at high risk for rehospitalization include having several other medical problems such as heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease. "E
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