Dejonge O, Williams J, Maxey T. COVID-19 impact on admissions for acute congestive heart failure patients. Quality Improvement poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.
Quality Improvement poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.
Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is costly to treat because many patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. In the U.S. before the pandemic, approximately 25% of heart failure patients were readmitted within 30 days.
Local Problem: Pre-pandemic patient education and cardiac consultation on admission allowed for more efficient care coordination, enabling the patients to manage their CHF at home. Our hospital had a pre-pandemic readmission rate of 12.4%. During the pandemic CHF patients decreased the rate of admission because of social distancing and fear of exposure. This resulted in patients not receiving the care needed, including proper medication management, nutrition, and consistent consultation during admission. We identified a need to provide resources to improve the quality of life for CHF patients during the increase in COVID-19 risk of exposure and the need for social distance.
Method: Education to support social distancing tactics, self-quarantine, frequent hand-washing, and universal masking.
- Encouragement of virtual telehealth visits
- Wellness checks and family support
- Education on diet, exercise, and medication.
- Follow-up phone calls to evaluate home management, self-care and access to resources
Results/Conclusions: This project shows a 12% decrease in admission rate and an increase in the 30-day readmission rate to 15% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic effect on patients with CHF. In 2021, these education strategies and the waning pandemic fears resulted in a decrease to a 13.5% readmission rate.
Implications for Practice: Patients with CHF were at increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and need an essential discharge education/follow up plan in place for home management.