WEDNESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Several strategies associated with a lower risk of readmission have been identified for patients with heart failure, according to research published in the July issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Elizabeth H. Bradley, Ph.D., from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues investigated hospital strategies that are associated with lower readmission rates for patients with heart failure using data from a Web-based survey involving 599 hospitals participating in national quality initiatives to reduce readmission.
The researchers found that lower hospital risk-standardized 30-day readmission rates (RSRRs) were associated with strategies such as partnering with community physicians or physician groups to reduce readmissions; partnering with local hospitals to reduce readmissions; having nurses responsible for medication reconciliation; arranging follow-up appointments prior to discharge; implementing a process to send all paperwork or electronic records directly to the patient's primary care physician; and assigning staff to follow up on test results that come back after patient discharge. The effects were statistically significant, but modest; individual strategies correlated with less than half a percent reduction in RSRR. Significantly lower RSRRs were seen for hospitals that implemented more strategies.
"In sum, our study has identified several strategies that are more prominent in hospitals with lower RSRR," the authors write. "We may need to employ more mixed methods techniques, with qualitative studies of hospital strategies and culture, as well as engagement with outpatient organizations, to understand which complex interventions are influential, and in which settings they are most effective."
Two authors disclosed financial ties to Medtronic and Eli Lilly.