Using Data to Discover What's Driving Hospital Readmissions


Leo Sadovy, Performance Management Marketing, SAS

Leo Sadovy handles marketing for Performance Management at SAS, which includes the areas of budgeting, planning and forecasting, activity-based management, strategy management, and workforce analytics. He advocates for SAS’s best-in-class analytics capability into the offices of finance across all industry sectors. Before joining SAS, he spent seven years as Vice President of Finance for Business Operations for a North American division of Fujitsu, managing a team focused on commercial operations, customer and alliance partnerships, strategic planning, process management, and continuous improvement. During his 13-year tenure at Fujitsu, he developed and implemented the ROI model and processes used in all internal investment decisions, and also held senior management positions in finance and marketing.

Prior to Fujitsu, Sadovy was with Digital Equipment Corp. for eight years in sales and financial management. He started his management career in laser optics fabrication for Spectra-Physics and later moved into a finance position at the General Dynamics F-16 fighter plant in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an MBA in Finance and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He and his wife Ellen live in North Carolina with their three college-age children, and among his unique life experiences he can count a run for US Congress and two singing performances at Carnegie Hall.

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Re: ranking
  • 1/10/2018 10:38:01 AM
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That is a good point. But as noted though the readmission with the " highest correlations with readmission rates are from unemployment and poverty," which might ask if there's really any practical way at present to deal with that. it would seeminly take decades to remedy that situation.

Re: ranking
  • 1/6/2018 8:26:23 AM
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I think that is always true. An exceptional unit can truly exceed the performance of any average.

Re: ranking
  • 1/5/2018 9:10:04 AM
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@PC That all depend on your income level and the nature of the health problem. People travel from around the world to get treatment at places like the Mayo Clinic, and those with cancer will often come to NY's Sloan Kettering. There are a number of hospitals considred outstanding for particular areas that draw patients from further distances just for that. But if you have an emergency room situation, you likely will be taken to the closest hospital. 

Re: ranking
  • 1/4/2018 10:43:19 PM
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Which is why it would be interesting to analyze the data at the hospital level. The differences in performance are large, and we could check my hypothesis.

Plus all of us can choose to go to the better hospital that's across town. We can't all go to Utah or Delaware.

Re: ranking
  • 1/4/2018 10:22:08 PM
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@PC Most likely, yes.

Re: ranking
  • 1/4/2018 10:14:37 PM
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My experience is the same as yours - it's impossible to overstate the importance of having someone who cares enough to be there with you. Without an advocate it's incredible how many hours can slip away while your simplest needs are unmet.

The differences between hospitals that I'm thinking about aren't about prestige or published rankings. Which hospital do knowledgeable local people prefer, and which would they avoid if given any say at all?

Using this criteria, I expect the best hospitals in any state could beat the overall averages for the best states.

Re: ranking
  • 1/4/2018 8:50:37 PM
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One other thing that should be examined is whether the hospitals look better when a patient ends up dying than if the patient is readmitted. I was wondering about the person I know who did die if that didn't even register a mark. He was 80, after all, and so they would think it's not a big deal as that is still beyond the average life span. This is why I get a sense that you really don't get the same level of attention as an older person as a younger one in the hosptital. For someone older, it raises fewer questions when a death occurs that may actually be linked to the lack of follow up.

Re: ranking
  • 1/4/2018 8:47:25 PM
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@PC there are some hospitals that highly ranked for having expertise but that provide less than satisfactory patient experiences for the duration of the stay. That was what I experienced a long time ago at the hospital then known as Columbia Presbyterian. When my mother had surgery there -- also quite a number of years back -- she also wasn't so happy. Often the smaller, less well-known hospitals have a friendlier nursing staff, and that is a huge part of the patient experience and health. They do mess up, too, though, unfortunately. Ultimately, there is no substitute for having someone with the patient nearly 24/7 to be on top of the care and reasonable response times to requests. 

Re: ranking
  • 1/3/2018 10:54:10 PM
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@Ariella - sorry to see NY in the red, but you can take some comfort in knowing that the differences between states are relatively minor.

As Leo pointed out there is significantly more variability between hospitals. Iím wondering if the hospitals withe the best scores are the same as the highly regarded hospitals that, given a choice, we already prefer.

ranking
  • 1/3/2018 3:18:00 PM
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I see that my state -- NY -- is in the red, which in this context is not good. That doesn't surprise me. Though there are some excellent hospitals in the state, they are also often rather crowded, which translates into staff being stretched and pressure to put people out sooner rather than later. I also someone who came in for surgery and died a couple of weeks after discharge, likely from a clot forming after surgery that was never detected. One other thing about the hospital experience that I noted when I had one of my kids in for weeks: they seem to be more dismissive of older people (I mean 70s and 80s) than younger peole (20s) likely because they feel that the younger people will deliver more bang for the buck with natural resilience and more years of life. 

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