People with diabetes who see their GP after a diabetes-related hospital stay could cut re-admissions by more than 40 per cent, research in Australia suggests.
The study, carried out by the University of South Australia, involved 848 people aged between 76 and 89 who had been admitted to hospital in 2012 because of their diabetes.
Of that number, they found 209 were readmitted to hospital within 30 days of their first visit and almost 80 per cent were back in hospital after only 14 days of being discharged.
Lead researcher Dr Gillian Caughey said: “The aim of our study was to identify which patients are at risk of 30-day re-admissio, and factors that contribute to re-hospitalisation of older Australians with diabetes and what we found was that hospitalisations for diabetes account for almost one-quarter of all potentially preventable re-admissions in our study.
The main reasons why people ended up back in hospital were diabetes-related foot ulcers (9.1 per cent) and hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia (5.7 per cent). Cardiovascular issues accounted for 21 per cent, while four cent had respiratory problems.
Caughey and colleagues say the findings suggest improving primary care for those who have already been in hospital for their diabetes could significantly reduce them being re-admitted.
“Almost half of the people re-admitted within 14 days of discharge had not seen their GP during this time,” said the researchers.
“Targeted follow-up during the initial 14 days after discharge may facilitate appropriate interventions that avert re-admission of these at-risk patients.
“The identification of these at-risk patients may also help care providers to target [these] appropriate interventions.”
The study has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).

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