This is feedback to the Heart Failure Project. The Project’s main objective is to decrease 30-day readmissions of heart failure patients at Odessa Regional Medical Center (ORMC) in Odessa Texas. It relies on a dedicated heart failure nurse educator to provide comprehensive heart failure education and to bridge the transition of care from in-hospital to home.
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Many readmission cases involving heart failure could be avoided through effective education of patients and their families as many past studies have established (Kociol et al., 2012; Paul, 2008; Benbow, 2009). Studies, therefore, have concluded that education at discharge is a critical aspect of enhancing heart failure outcomes.
Although hospitals use various approaches to reduce cases of 30-day readmissions, studies have shown that a dedicated heart failure nurse educator was the most effective approach (Kociol et al., 2012; Paul, 2008). Kociol et al. (2012) noted that education, however, required a multidisciplinary team approach with the aim of emphasizing “medication adherence, sodium and fluid restrictions, and recognition of signs and symptoms that indicate progression of the disease” (p. 685). This is imperative for patients who are not highly knowledgeable about their heart conditions and medication.
A dedicated heart failure nurse educator provides all-inclusive discharge education to patients with heart failure to enhance health care outcomes. This strategy allows heart failure patients to comprehend their conditions, treatment, and progress.
The role requires a dedicated heart failure nurse educator to understand the causes of barriers to effective self-care after discharge and to develop interventions that can assist patients to overcome such challenges. In addition, education should be patient-centered. Overall, the Heart Failure Project is likely to realize the targeted health outcomes if implemented effectively.
Benbow, D. (2009). Heart failure: Educating your patient can help prevent readmission. Nursing Management, 40(9), 5-7.
Kociol, R., Peterson, E., Hammill, B., Flynn, K., Heidenreich, P., Piña, I.,… Hernandez, A. (2012). National Survey of Hospital Strategies to Reduce Heart Failure Readmissions: Findings From the Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure Registry. Circulation: Heart Failure, 5 , 680-687. Web.
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Paul, S. (2008). Hospital Discharge Education for Patients With Heart Failure: What Really Works and What Is the Evidence? Crit Care Nurse, 28(2), 66-82.