The extraneous variables that need to be addressed in the study include differences in the elderly patients’ demographic characteristics and external factors that can cause a possible readmission. In order to control the extraneous variables, it is important to use the effective division of the demographic data into categories to cover the groups of interest and exclude readmissions that were caused by such external factors as accidents, for instance (Bowling, 2014). For this research, three age groups, three race groups, and three health status categories are determined (Gorina, Pratt, Kramarow, & Elgaddal, 2015). The smoking status and the physical activity of the patients are also determined in order to avoid the impact of the extraneous variables on the research.
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The National Health Statistics Report utilized as the data source for the research is based on the survey and interviews that were conducted with elderly patients who were asked to self-report their discharge and readmission experiences (Gorina et al., 2015). The used data source allows retrieving the information regarding not only hospital readmission and post-discharge medical services but also the health status of patients and the time periods between the discharge and readmission studied in the current research (Gorina et al., 2015).
The instrument is reliable as it can be used widely for conducting the similar studies (Malone, Capezuti, & Palmer, 2015). In addition, the instrument can also be evaluated as a valid one as it was assessed by the specialists of the National Center for Health Statistics, and it provides the combined national data for the period of six years.
The intervention referred to in the research is the post-discharge medical treatment received by the elderly patients according to their health and assessment plans. The post-discharge medical services are planned and determined with regards to the patient’s needs, and they can include the variety of assessments conducted by nurses and physicians (Bowling, 2014).
For the purpose of this research, the focus is on such types of the post-discharge medical services as the nurse visits, regular assessments, the use of the Telehealth system, the provision of the further treatment plan, including the information on medications and procedures, the follow-up assessments, and the contacts with the physician (Gorina et al., 2015). These post-discharge medical services should be regarded as the basis for the intervention that influences the further readmission or absence of it. In this context, the quality of the post-discharge services is also taken into account as the important measure to prevent the readmission.
Data Collection Procedures
The data for the study are collected with the help of reviewing the data on the patients’ readmissions presented in the National Health Statistics Report (Gorina et al., 2015). In order to collect all the required data on the patients’ demographic features, unplanned readmissions, the presence or absence of the post-discharge services, and the time periods related to the discharge and following readmissions, it is important to examine all the sections of the report and associated briefs located on the CDC website and organize the data according to the research purpose. The data collection procedure does not involve the personal communication with the patients as the data are referred to the 2000-2005 years. Currently, these data are most recent to conduct such study while involving the nationally wide population of the elderly patients.
Bowling, A. (2014). Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services. London, UK: McGraw-Hill Education.
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Gorina, Y., Pratt, L. A., Kramarow, E. A., & Elgaddal, N. (2015). Hospitalization, readmission, and death experience of noninstitutionalized Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 and over. National Health Statistics Reports, 84(1), 1-24.
Malone, M. L., Capezuti, E., & Palmer, R. M. (2015). Geriatrics models of care: Bringing best practice to an aging America. New York, NY: Springer.