The Effect of an Interprofessional Heart Failure Education Program on Hospital Readmissions

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Abstract

Heart failure (HF) is an increasing concern to public health, affecting approximately 5.1 million Americans and costing the United States over $32 billion annually. Compounding the concern, research has exposed the significant problem of hospital readmissions for the HF population, with an estimated 25% of HF patients are rehospitalized within 30 days of discharge. This project focuses on an education-based strategy designed to decrease hospital readmissions for this at-risk population. In particular, an interprofessional outpatient educational program (Heart Failure University [HFU]) was initiated to reduce healthcare costs and increase the quality of care for HF patients at a large private hospital in Florida. A retrospective case–control study was conducted to compare 30-day hospital readmissions of patients who attended HFU to patients who received standard education. Results indicated a significant association between HFU attendance and reduced 30-day hospital readmissions (χ2 [1, N = 106] = 5.68, p = .02). Strengthening this effect, the results showed patients who attended HFU had a significantly greater functional disability than those who did not attend (t(104) = 2.40, p = .018). These findings corroborate with current research on transitional care interventions and emphasize the importance of interprofessional, educational-based disease management programs for the HF population.

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