Readmissions among patients with COVID-19

Eleftheria Atalla, Markos Kalligeros, Giorgina Giampaolo, Evangelia K. Mylona, Fadi Shehadeh, Eleftherios Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background: Hospital readmissions are associated with poor patient outcomes and increased health resource utilisation. The need to study readmission patterns is even bigger during a pandemic because the burden is further stretching the healthcare system. Methods: We reviewed the initial hospitalisation and subsequent readmission for 19 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the largest statewide hospital network in Rhode Island, US, from March 1st through April 19th, 2020. We also compared the characteristics and clinical outcomes between readmitted and non-readmitted patients. Results: Of the 339 hospitalised patients with COVID-19, 279 discharged alive. Among them, 19/279 were readmitted (6.8%) after a median of 5 days. There was a significantly higher rate of hypertension, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, liver disease, cancer and substance abuse among the readmitted compared with non-readmitted patients. The most common reasons of readmissions happening within 12 days from discharge included respiratory distress and thrombotic episodes, while those happening at a later time included psychiatric illness exacerbations and falls. The length of stay during readmission was longer than during index admission and more demanding on healthcare resources. Conclusion: Among hospitalised patients with COVID-19, those readmitted had a higher burden of comorbidities than the non-readmitted. Within the first 12 days from discharge, readmission reasons were more likely to be associated with COVID-19, while those happening later were related to other reasons. Readmissions characterisation may help in defining optimal timing for patient discharge and ensuring safe care transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13700
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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