Preventing Patient Readmission Due to Diagnosis With Heart Failure

Abstract

There is need for improved management of heart failure by identifying risk factors that influence readmission of patients within 30 days after discharge from hospital. Patient readmission to hospital after discharge is a major concern in contemporary healthcare provision. To manage the situation, the federal government has introduced various policies through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that provide funding to innovative strategies applied in reducing the development of this phenomenon. Educating hospital staff, as well as effective development and implementation of policy legislation can help to prevent readmission of heart failure patients. One strategy for managing this phenomenon is encouraging healthcare professionals to conduct in depth research on heart failure.

Heart failure and readmission after discharge

Patient readmission to hospital after discharge from hospital is a major concern in contemporary healthcare provision. The high consideration accorded to this development advances from the burden that healthcare providers, patients, and their financiers have to deal with whenever this happens (American Heart Association, 2013). According to studies conducted to establish severity of this phenomenon, 25% of the people admitted to hospitals due to heart failure are readmitted in less than 30 days after discharge from hospital. Studies have also shown that most readmission cases reported in the United States of America are preventable. Prevention is applicable through educating hospital staff on ways to prevent patient readmission, and keeping them up to date with the core measures regarding heart failure within a clinical setting. Another prevention strategy involves offering general education to people about this condition (American Heart Association, 2013).

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There is need for improved management of heart failure, by identifying various risk factors for admitting patients within 30 days post discharge from hospital. Healthcare experts argue that escalating rates number of readmission cases could be because of the amount of funding allocated to hospitals with heart failure readmissions (Desai & Stevenson, 2012). To manage the situation, the federal government has introduced various policies through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that provides funding to innovative strategies applied in reducing the growth rate of this phenomenon.

Preventing patient readmission

Educating hospital staff on how to prevent readmission of patients diagnosed with heart failure is very important. The reason for this is that most heart failure patients lack knowledge on how to manage the situation on their own. Most patients are ignorant of the kind of medication they take, why they take it, as well as the ones that they need to continue taking after discharge from hospital (Desai & Stevenson, 2012). Unfortunately, when hospital staff directs questions about the same to heart failure patients on discharge program, they all respond positively indicating they have the right information. Therefore, educating hospital staff about this condition will help to prevent readmissions, as they will be able to assess when a patient is ready for discharge.

Effective development and implementation of policy legislation can also help to prevent heart failure readmissions (Jessup & McCauley, 2010). A good example of such policy legislation is Medicare, which is a national social insurance program in America. Medicare focuses on cutting down the rate of heart failure readmissions in the United States of America by 20% (American Heart Association, 2013). The program seeks to achieve this feat by reducing monetary allocations, and enforcing heavy financial penalties on healthcare facilities that have excess number of readmitted patients beyond the accepted numbers.

Management of heart failure readmission

One strategy for managing this phenomenon is encouraging healthcare personnel to conduct in depth research on the condition (Desai & Stevenson, 2012). Research is crucial in establishing methods of teaching patients about this condition, how they can manage it on their own, and establish ways of meeting their essential needs when they go home. Research also helps to develop effective strategies for doctors to make follow ups, establish the need for regular check ups, as well as the need to allow heart failure patients to know people providing care to them both at the hospital and when they go home (Moser, 2009). Management strategies need to focus on effective discharge programs, and the need to inform patients on the right diet, about follow-ups, the right medications, how to monitor their weight, as well as steps to take incase their condition fails to improve (Moser, 2009).

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Risk factors for readmitting patients

Numerous variables influence the rising number of cases reported on readmission of heart failure patients within 30 days after discharge. The variables influence the rate of patient readmission by increasing susceptibility of patients to the possibility of not benefiting from the services provided, either due to lack of accessibility or low effectiveness (Graham, 2013). These variables are either demographic, geographic, or healthcare setting related. Demographic risk factors include age, race and sex of the patient. The culture of discriminating against people because of their skin color or sexuality affects healthcare service provision to all people. The age of a patient also influences on the treatment options available, as well as their effectiveness (Jessup & McCauley, 2010). Geographic variables include the distance covered by patients when accessing healthcare facilities, as well as the income ratios of people living in various regions of the United States of America. Healthcare system variables that increase the susceptibility of patients to readmission include policies on medical insurance, medical services provided, location of patient discharge, and surgical procedures applied among others (Jessup & McCauley, 2010).

References

American Heart Association. (2013). Six Steps Could Cut Heart Failure Readmissions. Web.

Desai, A., & Stevenson, L. (2012). Re-Hospitalization for Heart Failure: Predict orĀ Prevent? Web.

Graham, J. (2013). More on Preventing Hospital Readmissions. Web.

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Jessup, M., & McCauley, K. (2010). Heart Failure: Providing Optimal Care. New York: Cengage Learning.

Moser, D. (2009). Improving Outcomes in Heart Failure: An Interdisciplinary Approach. New Jersey: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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