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St. Agnes Hospital Heart Failure Readmissions Rate, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 1

Words: 656

Research Proposal

Introduction

Heart failure is a serious condition that is very common throughout the world. If treatment is not sought as quickly as possible, then permanent damage or even death may occur. In recent years, readmission rates have remained stagnant and have not improved, even with a greater emphasis on reducing these rates (Ross et.al, 2010). However, the potential exists to provide patients with the tools and resources that are necessary to improve and prolong their overall health and to not require readmission under the appropriate circumstances (Ross et.al, 2010). For patients who survive, discharge instructions must be detailed and precise in order to prevent future readmissions to the hospital for similar complications. Discharge guidelines must be comprehensive in nature and utilize multidisciplinary approaches to promote education for patients and optimal recovery (Shah et.al, 2013). Clinicians must recognize the importance of existing research and evidence-based practice initiatives so that future directives are attainable and successful for this patient population through the use of hospital-based data and information to support the demand for change in this focus area (Shah et.al, 2013).

Problem Focus

At St. Agnes Hospital, it is important to identify the alternatives available during discharge in order to provide adequate instructions to improve outcomes and prevent readmissions over the long term. Therefore, it is essential to consider the primary methods to improve performance while promoting efficiency and reducing the costs associated with the delivery of care to this patient population (Hines et.al, 2010). However, problems associated with limited transparency and accountability have been severely challenging for many healthcare organizations (Hines et.al, 2010). As a result, existing reimbursement strategies and other concerns have been weaknesses in the management of heart failure patients and high rates of readmission (Hines et.al, 2010). It is critical that healthcare organizations such as St. Agnes Hospital reexamine their policies and procedures in regards to heart failure so that this patient population is provided with the best possible outcomes that do not require readmission to the hospital in the future (Hines et.al, 2010). It is important to review public hospital records in regard to readmission rates because there are considerable advantages for healthcare organizations if they have existing data to work with that will address this problem in greater detail (Ross et.al, 2010). In addition, government agencies must utilize this data as a means of exploring the different dimensions of care and treatment that are provided to heart failure patients to improve standards of care and the level of quality that is provided from a treatment-based perspective (Ross et.al, 2010).

Proposed Solution and Rationale

In an effort to address this problem more effectively, St. Agnes Hospital will establish a detailed discharge instruction program for its heart failure patients with the intent to prevent readmissions in the future. These instructions will address the most important criteria as provided by the HFSA 2010 Comprehensive Heart Failure Practice Guidelines. The key discharge instructions will include the following: 1) an understanding of the possible signs and symptoms of heart failure; 2) specific dietary instructions to prevent additional heart-related events; 3) monitoring weight on a daily basis to monitor possible edema; 4) guidance in regards to performing regular physical activity; and 5) the requirement to make follow-up appointments with a physician as necessary. Each of these events will support a widespread effort conducted by the hospital and its clinical staff in order to reduce readmission rates for heart failure patients. It is expected that with this type of approach to discharging patients, readmission rates will be reduced over time and will demonstrate the impact of this change for this patient population.

References

Hines, P.A., Yu, K., and Randall, M. (2010). Preventing heart failure readmissions: is your organization prepared? Nursing Economics, 28(2), 74-85.

Ross, J.S., Chen, J., and Krumholz, H.M. (2010). Recent national trends in readmission rates after heart failure hospitalization. Circulation Heart Failure, 3(1), 97-103.

Shah, K.B., Rahim, S., and Boxer, R.S. (2013). Heart failure readmissions: opinion statement. Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine, 15(4), 437-449.

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