Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 15(3) July 2012 : 76-76.doi:10.12927/hcq.2013.23039


Readmission to Acute Care and Return to the Emergency Department

  • Soon after their discharge from hospital, more than 180,000 Canadians were readmitted to acute care in 2010.
  • In jurisdictions where detailed emergency department (ED) data is available—Alberta, Ontario and Yukon—nearly 1 in 10 acute care patients returned to the ED within seven days of hospital discharge in 2010.
  • Medical patients were most likely to be readmitted for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure— more than two in five of these readmitted patients returned to hospital for the same condition.
  • Surgical and obstetric patients tended to be readmitted for unplanned follow-up care needs:
    • Nearly 1 in 10 (9.3%) readmitted surgical patients—more than 4,000 patients—returned to hospital for infections following a procedure.
    • Close to one in four patients readmitted following a Caesarean section returned because of an obstetric or surgical wound infection.
  • The highest volume of readmission among pediatric patients was for respiratory infection and pneumonia, while pediatric patients who were originally hospitalized for chemotherapy or radiotherapy had the highest readmission rates.
  • Both very long and very short patient lengths of stay (that is, those that deviated from the expected length of stay) were predictors of readmission.
    • Additional predictors of readmission included neighbourhood income and place of residence: patients from lower-income neighbourhoods and those from rural areas had a higher risk of readmission.
    • Other factors associated with higher readmission rates for medical and surgical patients included the patient's age and the number of other existing conditions that he or she had. Gender also played a role—male patients were slightly more likely than female patients to return to the ED within seven days of their initial discharge.

Wait Times in Canada

  • About 8 out of 10 Canadians receive priority-area procedures—including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, hip fracture repair and radiation therapy—within the medically recommended time frames
    • Almost all (97%) patients receive radiation therapy within the recommended time frame of four weeks.
    • Similar proportions of patients receive hip replacement (82%), hip fracture repair (79%) and cataract surgery (82%) within these procedures' respective time frames.
    • Knee replacements have the longest wait times, with 75% of patients receiving care within the benchmark time frame.
  • This year, a few provinces showed longer wait times for areas such as knee and hip replacements and cataract surgery.
    • British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island now have longer waits for knee replacement. P.E.I. also has longer waits for hip replacement and cataract surgery.
  • Two provinces showed wait time improvements for more than one priority area: Saskatchewan for hip and knee replacements and Nova Scotia for hip replacement and radiation therapy.


All-Cause Readmission to Acute Care and Return to the Emergency Department. Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Wait Times in Canada - A Summary, 2012. Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).


Be the first to comment on this!

Note: Please enter a display name. Your email address will not be publically displayed