One of the main causes of hospitalization is a congestive heart failure (HF). This is a world-scale problem. However, most heart-failure patients are readmitted after discharge. The main goals of this paper are to review the key aspects of congestive heart failure and analyze the measures that prevent readmissions.
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There is a perception that home-visiting programs and multidisciplinary heart failure (MDC-HF) clinic interventions can reduce readmission rates. Therefore, the following research question was formulated to guide this project: Can the mentioned above measures reduce the number of readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure? Such words as heart failure, readmission, and preventing measures served as keywords to search for a credible source in an electronic database. The article Transitional Care Interventions to Prevent Readmissions for Persons with Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis provides relevant information addressing this problem, and it needs to be analyzed.
This article was published in Annals of Internal Medicine, a reliable American internal medicine journal, in 2014. The article’s targeted audience is physicians and scientists who read the journal via institutional subscriptions. Also, the authors refer to various scientific works, supporting their statements and conclusions. These factors contribute to the high credibility of this source.
The article presents quantitative research on the issue of a high level of readmissions for patients with heart failure. The authors scrutinized MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, and CINAHL studies to identify relevant cases of transitional care interventions (Feltner et al., 2014). Also, the research includes data from ClinicalTrials.gov and World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. 47 trials that enrolled patients with moderate to serious HF were reviewed. Therefore, the mentioned above facts prove the validity of the data and findings presented in this article and highlight the relevance of this source in addressing the research question.
Congestive heart failure is a disorder in which the heart cannot maintain blood flow at a required for the proper functioning of a body level. This medical condition causes such symptoms as dyspnea, abnormal tiredness, and peripheral edema. Heart failure (HF) causes the enormous number of hospitalizations in the United States. Approximately a quarter of individuals that are “hospitalized with HF are readmitted within 30 days” (Feltner et al., 2014, p. 774). Causes of readmissions vary and include renal disorders, pneumonia, and arrhythmias.
The authors research different types of intervention. Home-visiting programs include pharmacist and nurse home visits. These clinicians perform physical examination and educational activities, reinforce self-care instructions, and provide other services. Results showed that only 4 out of 418 participants were readmitted, and not a single fatal case was registered within 30 days after discharge (Feltner et al., 2014). Another type of intervention is MDC-HF clinics. The results showed that only 8 out of 336 participants were readmitted within six months after discharge (Feltner et al., 2014). However, 18 fatal cases were registered within the same period. Structured telephone support includes monitoring, education, and self-care management via telephone. This type of intervention showed less positive results. However, it decreased the number of readmissions in HF-specific cases. The authors concluded that home-visiting programs and MDS-HF clinic interventions are effective measures that decrease the number of readmissions and the level of mortality among patients with HF.
This article presents a comprehensive research on the readmission issue. However, it lacks the description of specific methods applied by MDS-HF clinics. Specialists in such clinics use a complex system that combines medical examination, medication, collaboration with other clinicians, and nursing care. Despite providing positive results, this type of intervention requires further development. Therefore, areas for improvement in MDS-HF clinics should be highlighted more clearly.
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Feltner, C., Jones, C. D., Cené, C. W., Zheng, Z. J., Sueta, C. A., Coker-Schwimmer, E. J.,… & Jonas, D. E. (2014). Transitional care interventions to prevent readmissions for persons with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 160(11), 774-784.