Early hospital readmission for dehydration represents a relevant problem among patients with diverting or terminal ileostomy. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a new multidisciplinary individualized multistep protocol in terms of reduction of hospital readmission for dehydration. Since January 2016, our institution adopted a new protocol for patients with ileostomy. Protocol key points were: preoperative personalized education in stoma management; early recognition of dehydration symptoms; multidisciplinary counseling; patient autonomy in stoma management through post-operative recall schedule. The study compared a series of consecutive patients treated before (2014-2015) and after (2016-2017) the protocol application. The primary endpoint was hospital readmission rate after protocol use. The secondary endpoint was the identification of possible risk factors for readmission. The entire cohort was composed of 296 patients, 129 in the protocol group and 167 in the control one. The two groups were homogeneous for baseline characteristics. Hospital readmission rate within 30 days post-discharge for dehydration dropped from 9 to 3.9% after protocol application. Specifically, the number of avoided potential readmissions was 29/129 (22.4%). The number needed to treat (NNT) was 20. Univariate analysis identified three relevant variables: patient comorbidities, diuretics use as risk factors and protocol application as the protective one. The multivariate analysis confirmed patient comorbidity as the risk factor. Dehydration related to ileostomy is a potentially avoidable problem, by employing preventive strategies, especially in high-risk patients. Our new protocol could be a simple and cost-saving method, effective in preventing hospital readmissions.
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