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

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

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

A patient-centered early warning system to prevent readmission after colorectal surgery: a national consensus using the Delphi method.

Li LT, Mills WL, Gutierrez AM, Herman LI, Berger DH, Naik AD. A patient-centered early warning system to prevent readmission after colorectal surgery: a national consensus using the Delphi method. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2013 Feb 1; 216(2):210-6.e6.

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


BACKGROUND: Warnings of deteriorating condition provided to patients at hospital discharge are highly subjective, based on conventional wisdom, and lack systematic implementation. We conducted a standardized Delphi process to achieve national consensus on warning indicators and recommended action plans for patients after colorectal surgery. STUDY DESIGN: Expert panel eligibility was determined by pre-established criteria. A preliminary meeting was held at a national surgical conference followed by 5 rounds of email questionnaires and 1 teleconference using the Delphi method. Consensus was defined when at least 70% of the experts rated a symptom as 4 or more on a 5-point Likert scale (agree or strongly agree). RESULTS: Eleven experts were recruited to participate in the national consensus panel. A consensus was reached at Round 5. Experts identified 10 symptoms that indicate patients should notify their physician: "wound drainage," "wound opening," "wound redness or changes in the skin around the wound," "no bowel movement or lack of gas/stool from an ostomy for more than 24 hours," "increasing abdominal pain," "vomiting," "abdominal swelling," "high ostomy output and/or dark urine or no urine," "fever greater than 101.5°F," and "not being able to take anything by mouth for more than 24 hours." Two additional symptoms should alert the patient to seek emergency care: "shortness of breath or inability to breathe" and "chest pain." CONCLUSIONS: Expert consensus on discharge warning signs and appropriate action plans are identified for patients after colorectal surgery. The result of this study will help develop a more sophisticated patient-centered discharge tool for surgical patients.

Questions about the HSR&D 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.