A Multi-Disciplinary Initiative to Improving Management of Heart Failure Patients on a Medical Telemetry Unit

From the 2022 HVPA National Conference

Lavina Patel, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center), Marcie Dawson MS, RN-BC, NE, Ishaan Gupta MBBS

Background

Heart Failure (HF) is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and is costly in terms of mortality rates and health care services. It is one of the most common causes of hospitalization and readmissions. A collaborative approach among RNs, PCTs, and MDs initiated a Heart Failure project on a medical telemetry unit that focused on education for patients, families, and staff.

Objective

A change was needed due to inconsistent documentation, poor communication, and difficulty recognizing HF patients to target interventions and create educational plans. Staff methods focused on standardizing and improving communication and documentation of intake and output, daily weights, and education. Patient and family methods focused on educational folders and resources such as measurement cups and scales.

Outcomes

The variables of interest include HCAHPS scores focusing on nurse communication, discharge instructions, and care transitions and unit specific audits focusing on documentation compliance for daily weights and patient heart failure documentation.

Discussion

Outcomes suggests improvements in HCAHPs and documentation compliance after start of the project. Data is limited due to COVID related crisis documentation barriers as well as staff turnover. However, this information supports the objectives to enhance documentation and communication among the patients and care team. Future data should focus on length of stay and hospital readmission rates to determine further impact on disease management.

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