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New Penn Nursing Study Investigates Link Between Bedside Nursing and Avoidable Readmissions for Older Black Patients

As many as a quarter of all older adults discharged from an acute hospitalization will return within thirty days. Readmissions like these result in increased healthcare costs, functional decline and greater need for skilled nursing when transitioning back to community settings. Older black patients bear a disproportionate risk of readmissions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No single approach has been repeatedly effective in reducing readmissions for older black patients.

Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN, Assistant Professor of Nursing and a member of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes & Policy Research (CHOPR), undertook a qualitative descriptive study to investigate the nursing care experienced by older blacks at high risk for readmission following a recent hospital discharge, as reported by those patients. Results have significant implications for future initiatives to address the needs of black patients at risk for gaps in transitions and avoidable readmissions. The study, “They’re on the Fast Track:” Older Blacks Describe Experiences of Nursing Care Quality During Hospitalization,” has been published in Clinical Nursing Research.

“Understanding the experiences of older black patients and exploring if nursing care addresses their needs and prepares them for successful transition back into community settings offers important perspectives about the relationship between nursing care quality and outcomes,” explains Brooks-Carthon.

Her research team included Jessica Rearden, PhD, RN, and Darcy Pancir, RN, MSN, both of CHOPR; and Kerry Gamble, RN, BSN and Helyn Rothwell, RN, both of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.