Implementing a High-Value Care Discharge Protocol in Patients Undergoing CABG Reduces Readmission

Neel P. Chudgar, Roger Zhu, Katherine D. Gray, Ryan Chiu, Araceli Delacruz Carrera, Samuel J. Lang, Dimitrios V. Avgerinos, Charles A. Mack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Readmission after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is associated with adverse outcomes and increased cost. We evaluated the impact of a high-value care discharge protocol on readmission, length of stay (LOS), and discharge destination in patients undergoing isolated CABG. Methods: In 2016, a comprehensive, patient-centered discharge protocol was implemented. A nurse practitioner was the fulcrum of this program, which focused on improving health literacy, disease management, and rigorous follow-up. All patients undergoing isolated CABG between 2012 and 2019 were retrospectively analyzed with regard to 30-day readmission, LOS, and discharge disposition. Differences were analyzed by Mann-Whitney, chi-square, and t tests. Analyses were repeated using propensity matching. Results: A total of 910 consecutive patients undergoing isolated CABG were included in the analyses: 353 preprotocol and 557 postprotocol. Preprotocol patients had a readmission rate of 14.4% (n = 51), compared with 6.8% (n = 38) in the postprotocol patients (P < .001). Median postoperative LOS before implementation was 6 (interquartile range, 5-8) days compared with 5 (interquartile range, 4-6) days postimplementation (P < .001). Postimplementation, a higher proportion of patients were discharged to home compared with a skilled nursing facility (82.7% [n = 461] vs 73.9% [n = 261]; P = .002). After propensity matching, 298 well-balanced patients were included for analysis and these significant reductions in LOS, readmission, and discharge destination persisted. Conclusions: Implementation of a new discharge protocol was significantly associated with reduced readmission and LOS, along with higher rates of discharge to home in isolated CABG patients. Importantly, the results were sustainable and did not require additional resources, delivering high-value care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1112-1118
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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