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The Impact of Pharmacy-specific Predictors on the Performance of 30-Day Readmission Risk Prediction Models

Pharmacists are an expensive and limited resource in the hospital and outpatient setting. A pharmacist can spend up to 25% of their day planning. Time spent planning is time not spent delivering an intervention. A readmission risk adjustment model has potential to be used as a universal outcome-based prioritization tool to help pharmacists plan their interventions more efficiently. Pharmacy-specific predictors have not been used in the constructs of current readmission risk models. We assessed the impact of adding pharmacy-specific predictors on performance of readmission risk prediction models. We used an observational retrospective cohort study design to assess whether pharmacy-specific predictors such as an aggregate pharmacy score and drug classes would improve the prediction of 30-day readmission. A model of age, sex, length of stay, and admission category predictors was used as the reference model. We added predictor variables in sequential models to evaluate the incremental effect of additional predictors on the performance of the reference. We used logistic regression to regress the outcomes on predictors in our derivation dataset. We derived and internally validated our models through a 50:50 split validation of our dataset. Our study population (n=350,810) was of adult admissions at hospitals in a large integrated health care delivery system. Individually, the aggregate pharmacy score and drug classes caused a nearly identical but moderate increase in model performance over the reference. As a single predictor, the comorbidity burden score caused the greatest increase in model performance when added to the reference. Adding the severity of illness score, comorbidity burden score and the aggregate pharmacy score to the reference caused a cumulative increase in model performance with good discrimination (c statistic, 0.712; Nagelkerke R, 0.112). The best performing model included all predictors: severity of illness score, comorbidity burden score, aggregate pharmacy score, diagnosis groupings, and drug subgroups. Adding the aggregate pharmacy score to the reference model significantly increased the c statistic but was out-performed by the comorbidity burden score model in predicting readmission. The need for a universal prioritization tool for pharmacists may therefore be potentially met with the comorbidity burden score model. However, the aggregate pharmacy score and drug class models still out-performed current Medicare readmission risk adjustment models. Pharmacists have a great role in preventing readmission, and therefore can potentially use one of our models: comorbidity burden score model, aggregate pharmacy score model, drug class model or complex model (a combination of all 5 major predictors) to prioritize their interventions while exceeding Medicare performance measures on readmission. The choice of model to use should be based on the availability of these predictors in the health care system.

Authors: Kabue S; Greene J; Kipnis P; Lawson B; Rinetti-Vargas G; Liu V; Escobar G

Med Care. 2019 04;57(4):295-299.

PubMed abstract

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