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Misinterpretation of meaning and intended use of potentially preventable readmissions
  1. Norbert Goldfield1,
  2. Richard Averill2,
  3. Richard Fuller1,
  4. John Hughes3
  1. 13M HIS, Wallingford, Connecticut, USA
  2. 2The Hesperium Group, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Norbert Goldfield, 3M HIS, 100 Barnes Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492, USA; nigoldfield{at}mmm.com

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The article ‘Do pneumonia readmissions flagged as potentially preventable by the 3M PPR software have more process of care problems?’ by Borzecki et al concluded that ‘PPR categorization did not reflect expected differences in quality of care’.1 Unfortunately, the design of the study was based on a misinterpretation of the meaning of the potentially preventable readmissions (PPR) categorisation as well as its intended use.

Study design

Following discharge of a patient with pneumonia, there are three possible outcomes: the patient is readmitted for a condition that is categorised as a PPR, for a condition that is categorised as a non-PPR or the patient is not readmitted. A readmission is categorised as a PPR if there was a reasonable expectation that it could have …

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