Impact on 30-d readmissions for cirrhotic patients with ascites after an educational intervention: A pilot study

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BACKGROUND A low proportion of patients admitted to hospital with cirrhosis receive quality care with timely paracentesis an important target for improvement. We hypothesized that a medical educational intervention, delivered to medical residents caring for patients with cirrhosis, would improve quality of care. AIM To determine if an educational intervention can improve quality of care in cirrhotic patients admitted to hospital with ascites. METHODS We performed a pilot prospective cohort study with time-based randomization over six months at a large teaching hospital. Residents rotating on hospital medicine teams received an educational intervention while residents rotating on hospital medicine teams on alternate months comprised the control group. The primary outcome was provision of quality care- defined as adherence to all quality-based indicators derived from evidence-based practice guidelines- in admissions for patients with cirrhosis and ascites. Patient clinical outcomesincluding length of hospital stay (LOS); 30-d readmission; in-hospital mortality and overall mortality- and resident educational outcomes were also evaluated. RESULTS Eighty-five admissions (60 unique patients) met inclusion criteria over the study period-46 admissions in the intervention group and 39 admissions in the control group. Thirty-seven admissions were female patients, and 44 admissions were for alcoholic liver disease. Mean model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)-Na score at admission was 25.8. Forty-seven (55.3%) admissions received quality care. There was no difference in the provision of quality care (56.41% vs 54.35%, P = 0.9) between the two groups. 30-d readmission was lower in the intervention group (35% vs 52.78%, P = 0.1) and after correction for age, gender and MELD-Na score [RR = 0.62 (0.39, 1.00), P = 0.05]. No significant differences were seen for LOS, complications, in-hospital mortality or overall mortality between the two groups. Resident medical knowledge and self-efficacy with paracentesis improved after the educational intervention. CONCLUSION Medical education has the potential to improve clinical outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with cirrhosis and ascites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-709
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Gretchen Sieger of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Minnesota for her invaluable help with data collection and organization.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Cirrhosis
  • Education
  • Paracentesis
  • Quality


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