In this study, we implemented a nurse-led heart failure education to improve patients’ knowledge about the heart failure disease process. The purpose of this quality improvement program was to standardize a nurse-led heart failure patient education and evaluate its impact on knowledge, and all cause 30-day hospital readmission at a large urban academic medical center.
Methods: We implemented an evidence-based standardized heart failure patient education program with telephone follow-up. A convenience sample of (N=27) individuals diagnosed with heart failure were asked to complete the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale at baseline and 7 days post-discharge.
Results: Descriptive statistics were analyzed using SPSS® version 24 to provide demographic characteristics for the sample. The mean age for the sample (N=27) was 66.3, ranging from 54-90 years, almost evenly distributed gender, and most of the sample size reported they were either unemployed, retired, or disabled. Of the total participants, 61% had an ejection fraction less than 55% and 39% had a New York Heart Association IV classification. The mean baseline knowledge scores for (N=12) participants who completed the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale increased from 12.3 to 13.25 (p= .005) at 7 days post-discharge. The all-cause readmission rate after the intervention was 17.2%, a reduction from 22% previously reported prior to the intervention.
Conclusion: Implications from this study suggest the importance of implementing standardized education programs that are focused on improving knowledge for heart failure patients. Findings suggest that implementation of a nurse-led standardized heart failure education program that is focused on improving knowledge may reduce 30-day readmission for individuals with heart failure. Nurses are uniquely qualified to implement standardized evidence-based patient education to promote positive health outcomes in local and global settings.