Jennifer Poston



Improving Heart Failure Readmission Rates, Patient Education, and Nurse Confidence in the Hospital Setting

Primary Investigator: Jennifer Poston, BSN, RN 

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a heart failure nutrition education workshop for cardiac nurses that was implemented in 2018 by a previous nurse practitioner student.  

Methods:  The project used a quality improvement design on the cardiac floor and cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital in northwest Florida. Participants were registered nurses who were working on these floors. A survey was emailed to participants which gathered demographic data and also tested their knowledge of heart failure. Readmission rates for 2018 and 2019 were also obtained and analyzed.     

  Results:   It was found that there was not a statistically significant decrease in readmission rates between 2018 and 2019; however, the readmission rates were decreased. It was also found that nearly half of participants incorrectly answered questions about heart failure diet, fluid, and sodium intake. The majority of participants did answer that they provided heart failure discharge education with the hand-out supplementation toolkit every time.  

Discussion:  Because of hurricane damage at the hospital during this survey period, there was only one functioning medical-surgical floor and one ICU. For the first aim, there was no significant decrease in the heart failure readmission rates between 2018 and 2019. For the second aim, more nurses than expected incorrectly answered pertinent questions about fluid and sodium intake for CHF patients. This indicates a lack of nursing confidence when educating patients at discharge and may be related to non-cardiac nurses working with cardiac patients. The expected outcome of the third aim was successfully met because most nurses used both verbal education and printed toolkit handouts during patient discharge education. 

Conclusions: This study suggested that heart failure education workshops for nurses are beneficial and should be further studied to determine if they help reduce heart failure readmission rates. 


Major Professor: Laurie Abbott, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC 



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