Predicting 30-day pneumonia readmissions using electronic health record data

Anil N. Makam, Oanh Kieu Nguyen, Christopher Clark, Song Zhang, Bin Xie, Mark Weinreich, Eric M. Mortensen, Ethan A. Halm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Readmissions after hospitalization for pneumonia are common, but the few risk-prediction models have poor to modest predictive ability. Data routinely collected in the electronic health record (EHR) may improve prediction. OBJECTIVE: To develop pneumonia-specific readmission risk-prediction models using EHR data from the first day and from the entire hospital stay (“full stay”). DESIGN: Observational cohort study using stepwise-backward selection and cross-validation. SUBJECTS: Consecutive pneumonia hospitalizations from 6 diverse hospitals in north Texas from 2009-2010. MEASURES: All-cause nonelective 30-day readmissions, ascertained from 75 regional hospitals. RESULTS: Of 1463 patients, 13.6% were readmitted. The first-day pneumonia-specific model included sociodemographic factors, prior hospitalizations, thrombocytosis, and a modified pneumonia severity index; the full-stay model included disposition status, vital sign instabilities on discharge, and an updated pneumonia severity index calculated using values from the day of discharge as additional predictors. The full-stay pneumonia-specific model outperformed the first-day model (C statistic 0.731 vs 0.695; P = 0.02; net reclassification index = 0.08). Compared to a validated multi-condition readmission model, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pneumonia model, and 2 commonly used pneumonia severity of illness scores, the full-stay pneumonia-specific model had better discrimination (C statistic range 0.604-0.681; P < 0.01 for all comparisons), predicted a broader range of risk, and better reclassified individuals by their true risk (net reclassification index range, 0.09-0.18). CONCLUSIONS: EHR data collected from the entire hospitalization can accurately predict readmission risk among patients hospitalized for pneumonia. This approach outperforms a first-day pneumonia-specific model, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pneumonia model, and 2 commonly used pneumonia severity of illness scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis

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