Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients are at an increased risk for readmissions due to the complicated nature of the disease. In fact, within just six months post-discharge about 50% of CHF patients are rehospitalized. Proactively helping these patients manage their disease after an acute episode effectively reduces preventable readmissions. An article by Medscape entitled, “Evidence-based Strategies to Reduce Readmission in Patients with Heart Failure” discusses proven ways to reduce readmissions for CHF patients with disease management tools—follow-up calls, in-person follow-up, and self-care support. These methods are discussed below.
- Follow-up calls
- In-person follow up at an out-patient clinic or at home
When patients have access to doctors and nurses, an adverse event is less likely. Additional in-person visits provide continued support that allow patients to feel in control of their disease management.
- Self-care support
Heart failure requires a considerable amount of self-care. Many repeat readmissions happen because patients do not understanding how to care for themselves. Helping patients understand their care instructions is essential to managing their disease. Physicians follow up to emphasize information given at the time of discharge, and provide another touchpoint for patients to better understand their care instructions.
Using these three methods, hospitals can reduce heart failure readmissions and help patients manage their disease.
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