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Invited Commentary
May 2014

Forecasting Hospital Readmission After Surgery: Data and the Hard-to-Measure Role of Culture

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(5):445-446. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.10

Much debate has surrounded the definition and role of hospital readmission in the science of quality improvement. Most of these discussions have focused on this fundamental question: how can we make sure quality measurement is fair? In our opinion, benchmarking performance and improving quality require a better understanding of the clinical, behavioral, and socioeconomic details of what brings our patients back to the hospital. Moreover, targeted strategies aimed at reducing readmission rely on knowing more about the risk factors for readmission such as those elucidated in the article by Glance et al.1