Date of Award

Spring 5-28-2022

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Joseph Burkard, DNSc, CRNA


Congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and readmission in the United States. The readmission rate at an acute care hospital in San Diego is 22%, and readmissions occur within an average of 6 days after discharge. The purpose of this pilot project is to improve discharge outcomes among heart failure patients using telephone follow up. The two objectives of this project are to reduce heart failure readmission rates over 3 months and improve patient knowledge to prevent decompensation, as rated by the Self Care of Heart Failure Index. Follow up calls were completed by the Doctor of Nursing Practice student or heart failure registered nurse at 72 hours and 30 days after discharge. The readmission rate for the project cohort was 12%, which is 10% less than the organizations average readmission rate. Of the participating patients, there was a 20% increase in Self Care of Heart Failure Index scores from pre to post intervention. There are potential positive impacts when implementing a telephone follow up program for heart failure patients. Telephone follow up is an evidence-based strategy for reducing readmissions, but there are many barriers to the successful implementation of a phone follow up program. It will be important to look at a larger sample size over a longer period to determine if there are significant benefits.

Included in

Nursing Commons