CFIR, Science Studies@State fund hospital readmission study


Published: Sept. 17, 2015

Researchers from Michigan State University and Sparrow have been awarded $12,000 by the Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research and Science Studies @ State (S3) to study what social and medical factors play a role in Patient recovery and hospital readmissions.

The study, led by Daniel Menchik, PhD, of MSU’s Lyman Briggs College and Department of Sociology, will focus on orthopedic surgery Patients to track which Patients are readmitted and for what reasons. By tracking types of interactions with Physicians, prior attitudes or relationships with surgeons, demographic characteristics, and post-hospitalization experiences, researchers hope to learn how these factors influence the likelihood for readmission and subsequently develop ways to lower readmission rates.

“Hospital readmissions greatly concern health care officials at national, state, and local levels,” said Menchik, Assistant Professor of Sociology at MSU. “Readmissions are costly, can reflect substandard performance, and certainly detract from a positive experience for the Patient.

“In orthopedics, readmissions frequently hinge upon Patient adherence to post-hospitalization recovery routines. Some research indicates a connection between adherence and the patient-doctor relationship, while other studies suggest the importance of social ties and interactions. In this study we’ll use mixed methods to identify which factors, including the Patient-Physician relationship and others, play into the likelihood of a Patient’s return to the hospital.”

Menchik and the Sparrow team have an opportunity to pioneer a new way of studying the causes of readmissions through Patient shadowing methods, direct observational research of how Patients interact with staff and Physicians, and by incorporating questions about at-home support and other social resources into a pre-existing Patient survey.

For clinical expertise, Menchik is partnering with a four-person team from Sparrow—Brian McCardel, M.D., Sparrow Department of Orthopedics; Terry Rose, RN, and Brigette Kieft of the Patient Experience Department; and Melissa Sherry from Sparrow Volunteer Services.

The team started collecting data this month.

The Center for Innovation and Research, created as a major joint initiative between Sparrow and MSU, aims to seek new projects to continuously improve care and deliver Patient-centered, evidence-based best practice care to individuals who receive care at Sparrow.