Nursing Education for Heart Failure to Improve Patient Outcomes: A Quality Improvement Project

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Heart failure (HF) is a complex chronic illness that requires extensive self-care management. For patients to effectively manage home self-care, nurses must provide adequate education based on patient specific needs and knowledge deficits. The objective of this project is to improve patient outcomes and home self-care abilities by improving the nursing staff’s HF knowledge and increase the frequency of patient education provided by the nursing staff. Methods: This quality improvement project was guided by the Iowa Model for Evidence Based Practice with identification of a problem, research solutions, and implement change. The project followed a pre- and post-implementation design. The nurse’s HF knowledge and confidence was assessed prior to and following a specialized HF education session. Additionally, chart information was viewed pre- and post-intervention to obtain quantitative data regarding the HF education provided by the nursing staff. Results: By providing specialized HF education, the nursing staff’s knowledge and confidence in providing discharge education to HF patients significantly improved. Unfortunately, this had no significant impact on the quantity of discharge teaching provided to HF patients throughout their hospitalization. Discussion: Based on the concept that improved knowledge has the potential to allow the nurses to better prepare patients for the transition to home self-care, the expected outcome of this project was to demonstrate that increased knowledge of HF principles would increase the amount of HF education provided by the nursing staff. It was found that more than 30-days is necessary to effect a significant behavior change that can improve the education provided to patients.

DNP project