Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Specht, Janet

First Committee Member

Maas, Meridean

Second Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Third Committee Member

Skemp, Lisa

Fourth Committee Member

Lu, DerFa

Fifth Committee Member

Robinson, Jennifer


Acute decompensation of chronic heart failure is common and results in many patients being re-hospitalized every year (Jancin 2008). One of four voluntary core measures deployed by the Joint Commission for evaluation of quality of heart failure care in hospitals is heart failure discharge instructions, also called core measure HF1. Although the core measure is a widely disseminated standardized measure related to discharge education, there is little evidence about its impact on patient or readmission outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the completion of heart failure discharge instructions as defined by the Joint Commission core measure HF1 in a single site, 500 bed tertiary hospital population in the Upper Midwest and the primary endpoint of subsequent readmission to the hospital 30, 90, 180 and 365 days following an index discharge for primary diagnosis of heart failure. Secondary endpoints included hospital readmission charges and total hospital readmission days per year. Patient characteristics, clinical characteristics, unit factors and index visit utilization variables were controlled. This study also described the relationship between nursing unit factors and completion of HF1.

A retrospective, descriptive design, and analyses using primarily generalized linear models, were used to study the relationship of HF1 to utilization outcomes (readmission, hospital days and cost) and unit context (discharge unit and number of inter-unit transfers). Individual level retrospective demographic, clinical, administrative and performance improvement data were used (n = 1034). Results suggested a weak and non-significant association of completion of the core measure HF1 bundle and readmission within 30 days for all cause readmissions (p = .22; OR 1.32), and no association with HF to HF readmissions at 30 days. There was an inverse association


after 6 months for all cause readmission, and after 90 days for HF to HF readmission. There was a non-significant trend toward a relationship to total hospital days, but no relationship of HF1 to total annual charges. The study did find a significant relationship between type of discharge nursing unit and HF1 completion, and type of discharge unit and readmission. The discharge nursing unit was quite consistently and strongly related to all cause readmissions in binary (p = .029: OR 1.58) and counts analyses (p = .001; OR 1.52), but was not related to the subset of HF to HF readmissions. The study concludes that there is limited relationship between HF1 and 30 day all cause hospital readmission and total readmission days, but a stronger relationship between HF1 and discharge from a cardiology specialty unit. There was also a relationship between cardiology discharge unit and reduction in all cause readmissions.


Discharge, Heart Failure, Instructions, Nursing, Patient Education, Patient Teaching


vii, 198 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-198).


Copyright 2011 Gwenneth Anne Jensen

Included in

Nursing Commons