Comparing programs/services initiated to reduce heart failure 30- day readmission rates through national and regional data

Charla Wright, The University of Texas School of Public Health


For two decades, heart failure readmission rates have remained steady or increased, despite advances in heart failure treatment. This data has escalated heart failure readmission rates to a public health issue, a topic of governmental regulations, the subject of hospital developmental efforts, and the focus of this paper. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and compare program and service creations on a national and regional level to determine their effectiveness and future potential of reducing readmission rates. This thesis theorizes that some developed programs and services will produce a small improvement in readmission rates; however, many programs and services will not adequately reduce readmission rates, and thus will be discontinued. To answer these questions, a literature review based on 30-day readmission reduction programs on a national and regional level was conducted. This information will be condensed and categorized based on program/service type. Based on the information collected, a number of results were obtained. There are five main categories of programs/services that hospitals are employing to reduce readmission rates: (1) discharge summaries and patient education, (2) follow-up measures, (3) quality improvement and performance monitoring, (4) patient satisfaction, and (5) medication reconciliation. While most hospitals utilize a combination of programs and services, few hospitals use all methods that are available. Improvement in discharge summaries, patient education, and follow-up measures were the most commonly noted initiatives. This information showcases many programs and services achieved modest improvements in reducing readmission rates. There were also some programs and services that increased readmission rates, which were discontinued. Nonetheless, studies did not provide information on the number of suspended programs. This literature review revealed many study limitations, chief among them were a lack of investigating individual programs, inconsistency of implementation, and effectiveness on a broad scale. Further studies will need to be conducted on these areas in order to have a better understanding of which programs and services provide the best reduction in 30-day heart failure readmission rates.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Wright, Charla, "Comparing programs/services initiated to reduce heart failure 30- day readmission rates through national and regional data" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1566383.