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Variability in Implementation of Interventions Aimed at Reducing Readmissions Among Patients With Heart Failure: A Survey of Teaching Hospitals.

Vasilevskis EE, Kripalani S, Ong MK, Rosenthal JT, Longnecker DE, Harmon B, Hohmann SF, Wright K, Black JT. Variability in Implementation of Interventions Aimed at Reducing Readmissions Among Patients With Heart Failure: A Survey of Teaching Hospitals. Academic Medicine. 2016 Apr 1; 91(4):522-9.

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PURPOSE: To highlight teaching hospitals' efforts to reduce readmissions by describing interventions implemented to improve care transitions for heart failure (HF) patients and the variability in implemented HF-specific and care transition interventions. METHOD: In 2012, the authors surveyed a network of 17 teaching hospitals to capture information about the number, type, stage of implementation, and structure of 4 HF-specific and 21 care transition (predischarge, bridging, and postdischarge) interventions implemented to reduce readmissions among patients with HF. The authors summarized data using descriptive statistics, including the mean number of interventions implemented and the frequency and stage of specific interventions, and descriptive plots of the structure of two common interventions (multidisciplinary rounds and follow-up telephone calls). RESULTS: Sixteen hospitals (94%) responded. The number and stage of implementation of the HF-specific and care transition interventions implemented varied across institutions. The mean number of interventions at an advanced stage of implementation (i.e., implemented for 75% of HF patients on the cardiology service or on all services) was 10.9 (standard deviation = 4.3). Overall, predischarge interventions were more common than bridging or postdischarge interventions. There was variability in the personnel involved in multidisciplinary rounds and in the processes/content of follow-up telephone calls. CONCLUSIONS: Teaching hospitals have implemented a wide range of interventions aimed at reducing hospital readmissions, but there is substantial variability in the types, stages, and structure of their interventions. This heterogeneity highlights the need for collaborative efforts to improve understanding of intervention effectiveness.

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