Blog » Nurses Reducing Heart Failure

Nurses Reducing Heart Failure

Created Jan 31 2017, 07:00 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • Triple Aim
  • Joint Commission Resources
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • IHI
  • heart failure
  • home health nursing
  • JCR
  • cardiac nursing
  • Bayada

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization and death among people aged 65 and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of those with heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis, and the cost of care reaches $30.7 billion in the U.S. annually.

With our U.S. population aging as our Baby Boomer generation enters retirement, it's obviously in everyone's best interests -- patients, caregivers, and healthcare organizations -- to work together to reduce heart failure rates.

Triple Aim Initiative

Recently, Bayada Home Health revealed results of its heart failure initiative that aims to standardize best practices and reduce variations of care among the various Bayada offices, clinicians, and staff.

Bayada's plan focuses on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI) Triple Aim Initiative, which is defined as "better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower per capita costs."  

While the Bayada team worked to identify and respond to challenges associated with care for heart failure patients, clinical care actually constitutes a small fraction of what ultimately affects patients' health. Greater overall health determinants include individual behaviors, social and physical environment, they noted.

Care fragmentation and lack of practice standardization is prevalent in heart failure populations, and requires frequent monitoring and evaluation. Home healthcare teams are uniquely positioned to observe the impact of behavioral and social determinants of health and establish necessary relationships with patient, family and health professionals across care settings.

Educational Awareness

Realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is not conducive to the best cardiac outcomes, diagnosis-specific care is needed to best serve heart failure patients. Bayada decided to make a significant investment in clinical education.

They mandated one-hour education across 100 service offices to elevate the knowledge and skills of all clinicians and empower non-clinicians to escalate concerns to the interdisciplinary team.

This educational effort resulted in 280 Bayada certified heart failure specialists, each of whom received an additional 15 hours of specialized cardiac training. The initiative team also developed "Heart Talk: Living with Heart Failure," a patient education booklet that uses a six-step approach to help patients and caregivers self-manage the disease.

The Results

Bayada reports positive results for nurses, patients, and their business. For heart failure patients admitted into home care from the hospital, the initiative has led to a decrease in hospitalizations. Moreover, the initiative was successful in decreasing unnecessary nursing visits and led to improvements in patient outcomes measures including ambulation, dyspnea, and pain.

Providing educational support to staff and patients, Bayada was able to make major progress in heart failure population health management that resulted in better care, better outcomes and lower costs.

Further Information

Looking to increase your staff’s clinical competency on heart failure?  Our Lippincott Professional Development Collection institutional competency validation software includes a program set on ‘Heart Failure Disease-Specific Care’ that has been co-developed in partnership with Joint Commission Resources (JCR). 

The 20 CE-accredited online courses in this program offer your staff the latest details on signs, symptoms, and risks of heart failure; pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of heart failure, advanced and basic diagnostic testing, special populations, and more.  Check out a free course preview at: