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Congest Heart Fail. 2005 Nov-Dec;11(6):315-21.

Benefits of comprehensive inpatient education and discharge planning combined with outpatient support in elderly patients with congestive heart failure.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT 06610, USA.


Multidisciplinary disease management programs for congestive heart failure have been shown to substantially reduce readmission rates, resulting in a reduction of costs. These interventions, however, have typically included changes in medical management, making it difficult to quantitate the key elements of a successful program involving education, discharge planning, and transitional care in the outpatient setting. The investigators utilized an experienced cardiac nurse educator to coordinate a targeted inpatient congestive heart failure education program coupled with comprehensive discharge planning and immediate outpatient reinforcement through a coordinated nurse-driven home health care program. The comprehensive intervention resulted in a marked reduction in 6-month readmission rates, from 44.2% to 11.4% (p=0.01). The average total cost saving for each subject in the interventional group was $1541, based on the decreased utilization of both skilled nursing services and home health care during outpatient follow-up. The costs to implement an inpatient education program were negligible, at $158 per subject. There was no difference in discharge medications or medical management protocols that would have influenced these results.

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