There is growing emphasis on improving hospital discharge planning and transitional care for children. Many of the potential elements, such as medication reconciliation, patient education, scheduling of outpatient follow-up visits, and postdischarge telephone or home nursing outreach, can be added or improved through process change and new resource allocation.

In adult and elderly patients, poor quality-of-care transitions have been linked to higher readmission rates, and bundled transitional care interventions have decreased readmissions in these patients. There is less published evidence on the impact of such interventions in hospitalized children. The value of readmissions as a metric of pediatric hospital care quality and the potential impact of interventions aimed at improving hospital discharge remains in question.4–6 

Despite this uncertainty, pediatric readmission metrics are being incorporated into quality and payment reform, which drives efforts to further understand the etiologies of pediatric readmissions. As part of...

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