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Keywords

compliance, congestive heart failure, disease management, education, telemanagement

 

Authors

  1. Knox, Deborah MS, RN, CCRN
  2. Mischke, Lisa MS, RN

Abstract

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is the most common reason for a hospital admission in the Medicare age group and is nearly double the rate of pneumonia, the next highest volume diagnosis. The economic burden of this debilitating, chronic disease demands a mechanism to improve quality of care while preventing unnecessary hospitalizations. Beginning in 1995, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) created a disease management program involving a multidisciplinary team designed to decrease length of stay (national average = 6.2 days; ENH = 4 days), reduce costs, prevent readmissions (national 30-day readmission rate = 23%; ENH CHF Program = 2.3%), and improve compliance with the treatment regimen. Compliance monitoring through an automated telemanagement program reinforces education, identifies early warning signs and reduces the likelihood of hospitalization. After 18 months, telemanagement participants' compliance rate averages 89.5 %. CHF hospitalization rates are 0.6/patient/year compared with the national benchmark of 1.7/patient/year. A disease management program consists of inpatient consultation, education, outpatient CHF clinic, cardiac home care, and compliance monitoring. Throughout this continuum, education must be communicated consistently by all team members. A CHF Assessment Guide assists the multidisciplinary team to thoroughly complete all education and address unique solutions to patients' needs.