Thirty-Day and 5-Year Readmissions following First Psychiatric Hospitalization: A System-Level Study of Ontario’s Psychiatric Care – 2018

Analyses of representative, system-level data to examine trends in short- and longer-term readmission rates for psychiatric illnesses are largely absent. The objective of this article is to examine key trends and variables with implications for inpatient care as indicated by 30-day readmission and outpatient care as reflected by readmission within 5 years.

Using OMHRS data from 2005 to 2015, patients who had their first inpatient admission were followed for 5 years to examine their subsequent 30-day and overall admission rates stratified by discharge time and diagnosis.

The study cohort consisted of 42,280 patients. The 30-day and 5-year readmission rates for the entire cohort were 7.2% and 35.1%, respectively. Using a time course analysis of readmission for discharges in different years, both 30-day readmission and 5-year readmission rates decreased in a linear manner from 2005 to 2010, primarily because of readmission patterns for patients diagnosed with mood disorders and schizophrenia/other psychotic disorders. It was also evident that both demographic considerations such as age and gender and variables reflective of social determinants such as education level and employment were predictive of rehospitalization risk.

The trends of decreasing readmission rates may be reflective of improvements in the quality of hospital and community-based outpatient care. Such system-level indicators warrant tracking and may inform more effective tertiary prevention.

Sheng Chen, PhD, April Collins, MSW, Sean A. Kidd, PhD
The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, March 28, 2018