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J Card Fail. 2013 Dec;19(12):842-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Utilization of trained volunteers decreases 30-day readmissions for heart failure.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.
2
Volunteer and Educational Resources Department, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.
3
Division of Cardiology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. Electronic address: jfh9003@nyp.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study evaluated the effectiveness of using trained volunteer staff in reducing 30-day readmissions of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients.

METHODS:

From June 2010 to December 2010, 137 patients (mean age 73 years) hospitalized for CHF were randomly assigned to either: an interventional arm (arm A) receiving dietary and pharmacologic education by a trained volunteer, follow-up telephone calls within 48 hours, and a month of weekly calls; or a control arm (arm B) receiving standard care. Primary outcomes were 30-day readmission rates for CHF and worsening New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification; composite and all-cause mortality were secondary outcomes.

RESULTS:

Arm A patients had decreased 30-day readmissions (7% vs 19%; P < .05) with a relative risk reduction (RRR) of 63% and an absolute risk reduction (ARR) of 12%. The composite outcome of 30-day readmission, worsening NYHA functional class, and death was decreased in the arm A (24% vs 49%; P < .05; RRR 51%, ARR 25%). Standard-care treatment and hypertension, age ≥65 years and hypertension, and cigarette smoking were predictors of increased risk for readmissions, worsening NYHA functional class, and all-cause mortality, respectively, in the multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Utilizing trained volunteer staff to improve patient education and engagement might be an efficient and low-cost intervention to reduce CHF readmissions.

KEYWORDS:

Community patients; patient education; patient-centered intervention; risk factors

PMID:
24331204
DOI:
10.1016/j.cardfail.2013.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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