Understanding the Relationship Between Physical Therapist Participation in Interdisciplinary Rounds and Hospital Readmission Rates: Preliminary Study

Phys Ther. 2016 Nov;96(11):1705-1713. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20150243. Epub 2016 May 19.


BACKGROUND: Providing patients with optimal discharge disposition and follow-up services could prevent unplanned readmissions. Despite their qualifications, physical therapists are rarely represented on the interdisciplinary team.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the relationship between the participation of physical therapists in interdisciplinary discharge rounds and readmission rates.

METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, patients discharged by 2 interdisciplinary teams with or without a physical therapist’s participation were followed for 5 months. Adherence to the physical therapist’s recommendations for follow-up services and unplanned 30-day readmissions were tracked. Multiple logistic regression and random forest models were used to determine factors contributing to 30-day readmission rates.

RESULTS: The odds of 30-day readmissions were 3.78 times greater when a physical therapist was absent from the interdisciplinary team compared with the odds of 30-day readmissions when a physical therapist participated in the interdisciplinary team. In addition, the odds of 30-day readmission for patients discharged to their home were 2.47 times greater than those who were not discharged to their home. An increased lack of postdischarge services was noted when a physical therapist was not included in the interdisciplinary team.

LIMITATIONS: The nonrandom selection of patients into groups, the small sample size, and the inability to adjust risk for unknown factors (eg, medical diagnoses, comorbidities, funding, and functional measures) limited interpretation of the results.

CONCLUSION: Significantly higher readmission rates were noted for patients whose interdisciplinary team did not have a physical therapist and for those patients who were discharged to their home. These preliminary findings suggest that discharge from the acute care setting is an elaborate process and should be designed carefully. In order to identify the optimal discharge process, future research should account for patient complexities in addition to the composition of the interdisciplinary discharge team.

PMID:27197828 | DOI:10.2522/ptj.20150243

Share this post:

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *