Arlington Heights, IL (PRWEB) August 01, 2013
Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) was named a winner of an American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) award that recognizes NCH’s exceptional performance for assisting patients with managing heart failure.
NCH was presented with the AAHFN 30-Day Readmission Award for medical facilities with 250 to 500 beds for significantly reducing patients’ readmission rates within 30 days following their discharges. The heart failure team at the 496-bed hospital in Arlington Heights developed a heart failure order set that empowers direct care staff nurses to treat heart failure patients in a timelier manner. NCH’s 30-day readmission rates decreased after implementing the order set.
Karolee Fill, APN, who leads NCH’s heart failure team, found that NCH’s readmission data revealed that the highest number of heart failure patients who were readmitted were from skilled nursing facilities. The team met with representatives from the facilities and discussed heart failure initiatives, including a heart failure order set document that follows the patient from hospital discharge to arrival at the skilled nursing facility. The order set enables nurses to treat heart failure patients at the earliest sign of decompensation, or worsening of symptoms, which can prevent a hospital readmission, Fill says.
“The personal goal I have for my heart failure patients is to positively impact their quality of life,” Fill says. “As an organization, our goal is to prevent readmission. We have many initiatives for these patients to help prevent readmission to the hospital.”
To be eligible for the award, hospitals had to meet several requirements, including creating a heart failure program structure that consisted of a multidisciplinary team and implementing strategies to reduce readmissions based on the best available evidence, practices or clinical guidelines. The reduction in the 30-day hospital readmission program had to be sustained for a minimum of six months after the strategies were implemented.
Each year, one million Americans are hospitalized with heart failure and within 30 days of going home, a quarter of them will be back in the hospital again, according to AAHFN. Reducing 30 day readmissions is a nationwide issue and goal for all hospitals due to the threat of fines and cuts to their Medicare.
About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)
Serving Chicago’s northwest suburbs since 1959, NCH is a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves more than 350,000 outpatients each year, as well as nearly 30,000 inpatients treated annually at the 496-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center, earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2011, and was awarded the Leapfrog Group’s designation as one of the nation’s Top Hospitals based on quality and safety criteria. NCH has four Immediate Care locations in the northwest suburbs and operates a FastCare Clinic in Palatine. NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. For more information or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit http://www.nch.org.
The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) unites professionals in the support and advancement of heart failure practice, education and research to promote optimal patient outcomes. AAHFN is dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice and research with the goal of setting the standards for heart failure nursing care. Find more information about AAHFN and Heart Failure Awareness Week by visiting http://www.aahfn.org and following the association on Twitter at @AAHFN.