Events occurring outside the hospital setting are underevaluated in surgical quality improvement initiatives and research.
To quantify regional variation in home care nursing following vascular surgery and explore its impact on emergency department (ED) visits and hospital readmission.
Patients who underwent elective vascular surgery and were discharged directly home were identified from population-based administrative databases for the province of Ontario, Canada, 2006–2015. The index surgeries included carotid endarterectomy, open and endovascular aortic aneurysm repair and bypass for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease. Home care nursing within 30 days of discharge was captured and compared across regions. Using multilevel logistic regression, we characterised the association between home care nursing and the risk of an ED visit or hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge.
The cohort included 23 617 patients, of whom 9002 (38%) received home care nursing within 30 days of discharge home. Receipt of nursing care after discharge home varied widely across Ontario’s 14 administrative health regions (range 16%–84%), even after accounting for differences in patient case mix. A lower likelihood of an ED visit or hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge was observed among patients who received home care nursing following three of four index surgeries: carotid endarterectomy OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.91; endovascular aortic aneurysm repair OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.99; open aortic aneurysm repair OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.23; bypass for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.92.
Home care nursing may contribute to reducing ED visits and hospital readmission and is variably prescribed after vascular surgery.
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