Intensive Care readmission: A contemporary review of the literature

Malcolm Elliott, Linda Worrall-Carter, Karen Page

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


ICU readmissions are a commonly used quality measure but despite decades of research, these adverse events continue to occur. Of particular concern is that readmitted patients have much worse prognoses than those not readmitted. In recent years new clinical service roles have evolved to assist ward staff with the care of acutely ill patients, such as those discharged from ICU. Given the recent emergence of these service roles, a review of contemporary ICU readmission studies was warranted to determine their impact on this adverse event.

Reviewed studies indicated the incidence of readmissions and outcomes of these patients have changed little in recent years. Few studies mentioned whether clinical service roles existed to support ward staff caring for patients recently discharged from ICU. Future research needs to focus on identifying modifiable factors in care processes to reduce the incidence and outcomes of this adverse event and to determine how clinical service roles can best help prevent its occurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalIntensive & Critical Care Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • intensive care
  • literature review
  • readmission

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