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Readmission Prevention Effort Focuses on Colon Surgery Patients

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 11, 2013

The final agreement, after five rounds of discussions among panel experts,  was as follows:

Patients should call their physician if they experience:

  • Wound drainage
  • Wound opening
  • Wound redness or changes in the appearance of the surrounding skin or around the ostomy
  • No bowel movement or lack of gas/stool from the rectum for more than 24 hours
  • Increased abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling
  • High ostomy output and or dark urine or no urine
  • Fever greater than 101.5
  • Patient is not able to take anything by mouth for more than 24 hours.

Patients should go to the emergency room if they

  • Have shortness of breath or are unable to breathe
  • Have chest pain

The authors said they see this list as "a starting point in the process of developing a more sophisticated decision-making tool, ultimately to be included in the patient-centered discharge plan."

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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