Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

How Context Influences Hospital Readmissions from Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Rapid Ethnographic Study.

Ayele R, Manges KA, Leonard C, Lee M, Galenbeck E, Molla M, Levy C, Burke RE. How Context Influences Hospital Readmissions from Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Rapid Ethnographic Study. Journal of The American Medical Directors Association. 2021 Jun 1; 22(6):1248-1254.e3.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


INTRODUCTION: Improving hospital discharge processes and reducing adverse outcomes after hospital discharge to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are gaining national recognition. However, little is known about how the social-contextual factors of hospitals and their affiliated SNFs may influence the discharge process and drive variations in patient outcomes. We sought to categorize contextual drivers that vary between high- and low-performing hospitals in older adult transition from hospitals to SNFs. DESIGN: To identify contextual drivers, we used a rapid ethnographic approach with interviews and direct observations of hospital and SNF clinicians involved in discharging patients. We conducted thematic analysis to categorize contextual factors and compare differences in high- and low-performing sites. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: We stratified hospitals on 30-day hospital readmission rates from SNFs and used convenience sampling to identify high- and low-performing sites and associated SNFs. The final sample included 4 hospitals (n  =  2 high performing, n  =  2 low performing) and affiliated SNFs (n  =  5) with 148 hours of observations. MEASURES: Central themes related to how contextual factors influence variations in high- and low-performing hospitals. RESULTS: We identified 3 main contextual factors that differed across high- and low-performing hospitals and SNFs: team dynamics, patient characteristics, and organizational context. First, we observed high-quality communication, situational awareness, and shared mental models among team members in high-performing sites. Second, the types of patients cared for at high-performing hospitals had better insurance coverage that made it feasible for clinicians to place patients based on their needs instead of financial abilities. Third, at high-performing hospitals a more engaged staff in the transition process and building rapport with SNFs characterized smooth transitions from hospitals to SNFs. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Contextual factors distinguish high- and low-performing hospitals in transitions to SNF and can be used to develop interventions to reduce adverse outcomes in transitions.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.