Hospital Readmissions Following Early Discharge in Anticipation of a Hospital Evacuation: Hurricane Sandy and the US Department of Veterans Affairs
Methods: We used data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to examine 30-day, all-cause hospital readmissions of patients who were discharged early from VA hospitals in NYC because of Hurricane Sandy.
Results: At Manhattan, 8 of 45 patients who were discharged on the day of the evacuation were readmitted to a VA hospital within 30 days. Similarly, at the receiving hospitals, 3 of 12 patients at Brooklyn and 2 of 9 patients at the Bronx were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. More than half of the readmitted patients were behavioral health patients.
Discussion & Conclusion: Early discharge instead of evacuation may result in hospital readmission, and places patients at increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, the reported readmission rates are similar to national and regional non-disaster readmission rates, suggesting that relatively safe care transitions during disasters may be feasible, at least in an integrated delivery system. Patients with significant behavioral health needs are at increased risk for readmission during a disaster.
Learning Areas:Administration, management, leadership
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe which patients are at greatest risk for readmission after evacuation from a hospital because of a disaster
Keyword(s): Disasters, Hospitals