Reducing Heart Failure Readmissions And Improve Patient Outcomes Through Transitional Care
"Heart failure (HF) affects about five million people in the United States, with 550,000 new patients diagnosed each year” (Hines, Yu & Randall, 2010 ). "It 's the leading cause of hospitalization and healthcare costs in the United States and up to 25% of patients hospitalized with (HF) are readmitted within 30 days” (Feltner, et al, 2014). Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition and patients usually have associated co-morbid conditions such as renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. All of these factors make patients more vulnerable to poor transition home or to other care settings such as skilled nursing facilities. Furthermore, the government and private insurance companies have begun penalizing hospitals for 30-day readmissions. For these reasons, many healthcare organizations are looking to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.
For decades, healthcare settings have been providing poor transitions for patients across care setting leading to patients experiencing medication errors, missing follow-up appointments and landing back in the hospital.
A recent Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine (2013) study looked at transitional care after hospitalization from the perspective of the patient and found the following: 40% of patients could not understand or explain the reason they were in the hospital…