The rate of readmissions is widely regarded in scientific literature as a valid quality indicator for hospitals. As a result, the rate of potentially avoidable readmissions has been one of the national quality indicators reviewed in the hospital care sector since 2011 by the National Association for the Development of Quality in Swiss Hospitals and Clinics (ANQ).
A “potentially avoidable readmission” is when a patient is readmitted within 30 days after being discharged from hospital. It can be characterized as “avoidable” according to an algorithm that takes into account the patient’s characteristics, including age, gender, and comorbidities.
Hôpital de La Tour monitors the rate of readmissions that have taken place at the facility (internal rate) every three months. In contrast, the ANQ report publishes the overall rate of readmissions which includes, in addition to the internal rate, the readmissions of patients who were originally hospitalized at Hôpital de La Tour but later readmitted to another hospital in Switzerland.
Alongside its report, ANQ also publishes an expected rate which is used as a benchmark and takes into account the characteristics of hospitalized patients over the course of the year for each hospital.
The ANQ publishes the rate of external readmissions (i.e. readmissions to other hospitals) every two years. As a result, the overall rate (including the external rate) cannot be assessed for 2019 and 2020.
Hôpital de La Tour continues to review readmissions every three months, focusing on patients readmitted within seven days after discharge. It aims to establish if there are characteristics that make it possible to identify patients “at risk of readmission” at an early stage in order to provide tailored support measures.