2010 WDH & HF Foundation Funds Congestive Heart Failure Education
The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital & Health Foundation Board of Directors approved funding of $5,628 to support the new toolkit for congestive heart failure (CHF) inpatients.
Heart failure is the most common reason for readmission among Medicare patients. Analysis of the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (WDH) quarterly and annual CHF readmission data and processes of care indicate an opportunity for improvement in the discharge planning process for CHF patients. Recent literature points to a lack of medication compliance and poor understanding of the disease on the part of patients as major factors that cause readmissions. Improvement efforts have shown that preventable readmissions can be reduced by better coordination among caregivers in and outside the Hospital including the primary care physician, better patient and family education to improve the patient’s ability to manage their disease once they are discharged and better follow-up once the patient has left the Hospital.
Based on evidence from readmission studies and analysis of current processes at WDH, the CHF Readmission Workgroup developed a re-designed discharge planning process for CHF patients. A key component is the new patient education toolkit the Foundation funded. It includes medication lists, weight charts, easy to understand explanations of CHF and the actions that patients can take to manage their disease. The patients are asked to bring the binder with them to their doctor visits.