Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type



Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Alan Lipps

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Erica Vasquez

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Amy Hernandez


Readmission rates are a primary indicator used by acute care hospitals to determine the effectiveness of healthcare treatments and interventions. High readmission rates indicate the existence of a gap in the continuum of care. Acute care hospitals focus on the treatment of the immediately urgent physical health condition. Once the immediate presenting illness is treated or stabilized, the patient is discharged. This focus largely leaves mental illness undiagnosed and untreated. However, chronic, untreated mental illnesses are often comorbid with physical illnesses. In studies comparing patients with comorbid physical and mental illness to patients with only a physical illness, comorbidity was associated with increased 30-day readmission rates. Integrated mental healthcare in acute care hospitals is likely one solution to this national problem. This research study analyzed secondary data over readmission rates within a rural Texas hospital system. A data set consisting of 1,421 total readmission cases was gathered from June 2022 to December 2022. Results showed that there are a significant number of preventable readmissions, and an improvement of integrated healthcare could help to reduce these readmissions and improve the quality of care that patients are currently receiving. It was found that although hospital administration heavily analyzes readmissions and the potential causes of them, there is very little focus on patients’ mental health diagnoses. With better prioritization on these mental health diagnoses and proper mental health intervention, many of these readmissions could be reduced.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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