In the United States, congestive heart failure (CHF) represents the leading cause of hospitalizations among adult patients. While there has been an improvement in medical therapy outcomes, readmission rates for the population with CHF diagnosis remain high at ≥50% within six months after discharge (Anand et al., 2018). The causes for readmissions in the CHF population are the same for thirty days after discharge and thirty on to sixty days, although the rates of causes’ occurrence differ among patients.
For instance, among readmission causes for thirty days after discharge, heart failure constituted 50% of cases, while for the more extended period after discharge, it accounted for 58% (Vader et al., 2016). Other causes include renal failure, non-cardiovascular non-renal causes, and non-heart failure cardiovascular causes, among which are arrhythmias, CVA, hypotension, and syncope (Vader et al., 2016).
To reduce high rates of readmissions among the CHF population, a combination of medical therapy and evidence-based health system strategies is recommended. According to Ziaeian and Fonarow (2016), evidence-based beta-blockers have been shown to reduce both readmissions and mortality in the population. Angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin receptor blocker also showed a positive influence in addressing the challenge (Ziaeian & Fonarow, 2016).
In addition to pharmacological therapy, health systems strategies should also be implemented. Specifically, they include higher-quality summaries of discharge, and timely transmissions have been associated with lower risks of readmissions among HF patients (Ziaeian & Fonarow, 2016). Besides, it is necessary to focus more attention on practice quality improvement concerning medical errors and improving communication within interdisciplinary teams (Ziaeian & Fonarow, 2016). Patient education, medication review, and intensive follow-ups are all components of a comprehensive intervention for reducing CHF readmissions.
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