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The primary object of my project is to evaluate the impact of using education programs to reduce the 30-day readmission rates of patients with congestive heart failure. Nurses will offer the education programs concerning management of CHF to a cohort of patients admitted and discharged after suffering congestive heart failure. Another group of CHF patients will act as a control group by not receiving education programs. Evaluation of post-discharge progress within 30-days will determine whether education programs are effective in reducing the rate of readmission. Self-care education programs benefit CHF patients through increasing their knowledge about the illness, improving their confidence level, enhance their collaboration with social support providers and many others. Through the benefits, self-care education has the potential of reducing readmission rates within 30-days of discharge, which can also improve the quality of care health institutions provide to CHF patients.
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First, the project assumes that the health care institution where this study will be conducted has capacity and resources to carry out self-care patient education concerning CHF conditions. Therefore, methods of study will be patient-centered thereby exploring the knowledge gained from the training as well as the impact of such education to their prehospitalization frequency. One of the methods applicable will be questioners to assess whether the patients selected for pilot study gained self-care knowledge offered through patient education program or not. After discharge, nurses will conduct post-discharge follow-ups on two group of patients to assess their progress. One group will be the patients who received adequate patient education about CHF self-care management practices. Another group will be the patients discharged without undergoing CHF education program. Therefore, the method will be majorly the measurement of readmission rates of the group of patients who received education program and the ones who did not receive education within 30-days of discharge. Another form of the measure will be to conduct surveys on the two groups of patients concerning their experience and feeling of self-care ability after discharge. PowerPoints presentations, nursing support and advice, and handouts are some of the relevant tools that will assist in the implementation of the education program.
One of the key variables in the study will be the ability of patients to gain knowledge in education programs before discharge. Navidian, Yaghoubinia, Ganjali, & Khoshsimaee (2015) asserted that nurses should evaluate the psychosocial status of patients before offering education. The assertion supports the rationale for determining the ability of patients to gain a patient education as a variable. It is no doubt that CHF affects patients in different ways. Whether physiological, social, or economic, it is paramount to determine whether such patients are in a position to participate in the education program successfully before registering them. Analysis of the patient’s background available in patient history data can reveal useful information concerning the suitability and preparedness for the self-care education program. Hammer (2016) emphasizes the importance of seeking patient’s consent before enlisting them on research. Therefore, it will be appropriate to seek informed consent of the CHF patients selected for education program by briefing them through the research objectives.
The second variable will be the rate of readmission within 30-days for the two groups of patients. Tracking data from admission office will confirm readmission of the patients under the study discharged within the last 30-days. Comparison of the two sets of data from the group of patients who received education and the ones who did not receive an education will show a possible effect of self-care education on the post-discharge safety. However, collecting and comparing statistical data from CHF patients requires that other factors such as stage of CHF, mode of treatment, nature of patient’s home of the environment, and other key elements are near similar. For example, it would be wrong to compare patients who underwent surgery to maintain their CHF condition with the ones who just received medication without surgery. In short, patients should have base similarly factors to enhance reliability and validity of the statistical data applied in the study.
Furthermore, perception and attitudes of patients concerning their safety after discharge can point at a possible influence of self-care education on CHF patient’s safety. Riegel, Lee, & Dickson (2011) identified attitude such as confidence as one of the factors that can either facilitate or reduce the likelihood of early readmission of CHF patients. For instance, a confident CHF patient may not experience stress and anxiety after discharge, which can work well in enhancing stability after discharge. Ideally, self-care education concerning CHF should cover aspects such as knowledge of the illness, physical functioning, social support, degree of sleepiness, and emergency management strategies. Armed with such a plethora of skills and knowledge, CHF patients who undergo self-care education programs before discharge develop a positive attitude towards handling their conditions. In the end, the positive attitudes make CHF patients collaborative and propose solutions to people providing social support. Therefore, perception and attitudes of patients within 30-days of discharge concerning their self-care ability is a vital variable for this study.
Strategies for Disseminating Findings
Stakeholders of my project include participating patients, hospital management, greater nursing community, and academicians. According to Hanrahan, Marlow, Aldrich, & Hiatt (2010), different audience consumes findings of a research different ways and have different expectations. First, I will use events, conferences, or conferences to distribute information to the management. Leaders of health institutions need brief and precise information about the findings because it saves them time and improves their understanding. The main message I will present to the hospital management and co-workers is how self-care intervention reduces the rate of readmission and enhances the quality of care provided by the institution to CHF patients.
Second, i would use journals and other publications to present the findings to the academicians and researchers in the greater nursing community. I would adopt the technical jargons related to the topic of study, include details, and observe the rules of scientific research because the audience consuming the message would pay attention to such elements. Lastly, I would use pamphlets or brochures to present simple and understandable information to the patient participants in the study. I would thank them for taking the time to participate in the study and inform them about implications of the study for their well-being.
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Reviews in editorials, daily newspapers, and online platforms would communicate findings of the study to the public informing them on the benefits of CHF education programs based on the research outcomes. Where applicable, I will use graphs, charts, and tables to simplify information as well as understanding within all the groups of audience.
- Hanrahan, K., Marlow, K. L., Aldrich, C., & Hiatt, A. M. (2010). Dissemination of Nursing Knowledge: Tips and Resources.
- Hammer, M. (2016). Informed Consent in the Changing Landscape of Research. Oncology Nursing Forum, 43(5), 558-560. http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/16.onf.558-560
- Navidian, A., Yaghoubinia, F., Ganjali, A., & Khoshsimaee, S. (2015). The Effect of Self-Care Education on the Awareness, Attitude, and Adherence to Self-Care Behaviors in Hospitalized Patients Due to Heart Failure with and without Depression. PLOS ONE, 10(6), e0130973. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130973
- Riegel, B., Lee, C., & Dickson, V. (2011). Self care in patients with chronic heart failure. Nature Reviews Cardiology, 8(11), 644-654. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrcardio.2011.95