“Why did I cancel my surgery?” Mrs M repeated my question and stared at me through her black horn-rimmed glasses, the half-inch-thick lenses greatly magnifying her intense blue eyes. Along with two medical students and a resident, I was in Mrs M's hospital room, meeting her and her daughter for the first time. We had selected Mrs M from a list of about 15 Medicare patients in the hospital that day who had also been in the hospital within the last 30 days. We were conducting a quality improvement project designed to determine if readmissions in this patient population are related to the previous admission, and if problems in the transition out of the hospital or other quality of care issues might have contributed to the second hospitalization. The complex older patients we see provide the opportunity to discuss clinical geriatrics as well as health system approaches to improving quality of care.
Ouslander JG. A Murmur of Music. JAMA. 2010;304(17):1875. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1141