Obtaining a follow-up appointment before discharge protects against readmission for patients with acute coronary syndrome and heart failure: A quality improvement project

Vidagay Baky, Dane Moran, Tessa Warwick, Alice George, Tammy Williams, Eric McWilliams, Joseph Marine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Cardiac patients have a high risk of readmission following hospital discharge. The aim of our project was to examine the factors associated with increased readmission rate, with a view to eventually decrease the rate of readmission for patients admitted to the hospital due to acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or heart failure. Methods: Patients admitted to the cardiac step-down unit at a single private hospital from 2015 to 2016 were included in our study. Interventions that were employed included: (1) improved pre-discharge follow-up appointment scheduling, (2) medication education by a pharmacist, and (3) timely discharge planning. Our primary outcome of interest was all-cause rate of hospital readmission within 30 days. We conducted a multivariate analysis to determine the factors that were predictive of readmission rate. Results: 578 patients were included in the study and 402 were diagnosed with ACS (69.9%). The rate of readmission was 14.2% for patients with heart failure, compared to 7.5% for patients with ACS. Following the bundle of interventions, patients were significantly more likely to receive an appointment (45.6% vs. 75.4%, p < 0.001), medication education from a pharmacist (38.5% vs. 56.7%, p = 0.006), and a timely discharge (47.1% vs. 76.0%, p < 0.001). Readmission rate was comparable following the intervention (8.6% vs. 9.7%), but patients that received an appointment had 0.374 times lower odds of being readmitted (p = 0.004). Conclusions: While our package of interventions did not lead to a significant decline in our readmission rate, patients who received a follow-up appointment prior to discharge were strongly protected against readmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Volume257
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2018

Keywords

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Patient readmission
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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