How high-risk comorbidities co-occur in readmitted patients with hip fracture: Big data visual analytical approach

Suresh K. Bhavnani, Bryant Dang, Rebekah Penton, Shyam Visweswaran, Kevin E. Bassler, Tianlong Chen, Mukaila Raji, Rohit Divekar, Raed Zuhour, Amol Karmarkar, Yong Fang Kuo, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: When older adult patients with hip fracture (HFx) have unplanned hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge, it doubles their 1-year mortality, resulting in substantial personal and financial burdens. Although such unplanned readmissions are predominantly caused by reasons not related to HFx surgery, few studies have focused on how pre-existing high-risk comorbidities co-occur within and across subgroups of patients with HFx. Objective: This study aims to use a combination of supervised and unsupervised visual analytical methods to (1) obtain an integrated understanding of comorbidity risk, comorbidity co-occurrence, and patient subgroups, and (2) enable a team of clinical and methodological stakeholders to infer the processes that precipitate unplanned hospital readmission, with the goal of designing targeted interventions. Methods: We extracted a training data set consisting of 16,886 patients (8443 readmitted patients with HFx and 8443 matched controls) and a replication data set consisting of 16,222 patients (8111 readmitted patients with HFx and 8111 matched controls) from the 2010 and 2009 Medicare database, respectively. The analyses consisted of a supervised combinatorial analysis to identify and replicate combinations of comorbidities that conferred significant risk for readmission, an unsupervised bipartite network analysis to identify and replicate how high-risk comorbidity combinations co-occur across readmitted patients with HFx, and an integrated visualization and analysis of comorbidity risk, comorbidity co-occurrence, and patient subgroups to enable clinician stakeholders to infer the processes that precipitate readmission in patient subgroups and to propose targeted interventions. Results: The analyses helped to identify (1) 11 comorbidity combinations that conferred significantly higher risk (ranging from P<.001 to P=.01) for a 30-day readmission, (2) 7 biclusters of patients and comorbidities with a significant bicluster modularity (P<.001; Medicare=0.440; random mean 0.383 [0.002]), indicating strong heterogeneity in the comorbidity profiles of readmitted patients, and (3) inter- and intracluster risk associations, which enabled clinician stakeholders to infer the processes involved in the exacerbation of specific combinations of comorbidities leading to readmission in patient subgroups. Conclusions: The integrated analysis of risk, co-occurrence, and patient subgroups enabled the inference of processes that precipitate readmission, leading to a comorbidity exacerbation risk model for readmission after HFx. These results have direct implications for (1) the management of comorbidities targeted at high-risk subgroups of patients with the goal of pre-emptively reducing their risk of readmission and (2) the development of more accurate risk prediction models that incorporate information about patient subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13567
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Bipartite networks
  • Precision medicine
  • Unplanned hospital readmission
  • Visual analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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