Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Laura Munoz


Jose Villa


Rosco Gore


Heart failure is a complex, debilitating, chronic disease characterized by high mortality and frequent hospital readmissions. Heart failure affects 5.7 million people in the United States with 670,000 new patients diagnosed each year. Patients are most vulnerable during the transition from the acute care setting to home. Limited patient knowledge on symptom recognition leads to detrimental outcomes for the patients; therefore, discharge education is paramount for decreasing readmissions. The national benchmark for 30-day readmission is 27%. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve compliance with the 2013 American Heart Association guidelines through discharge education by Telemetry staff for heart failure patients age 55 years and older. The 30-day readmission rate was also assessed. A retrospective review of 70 charts resulted in finding that 32 patients met the inclusion criteria as patients discharged from the Telemetry Unit, a 350-bed military hospital located in South Texas. Licensed nursing staff implemented evidence-based heart failure discharge education using the teach-back methods before patients discharged to home. The average age of heart failure patients was 76 years. At 12 weeks after implementation, 91% (29 of 32) of patients received heart failure discharge education. Of the 32 patients that received heart failure discharge education, 2 patients were readmitted to the Telemetry Unit within 30 days, thus decreasing readmission rate to 6.25%. This evidence-based project is beneficial in standardizing the patient discharge education. The heart failure discharge education program has a significant implication for healthcare professionals uniquely designed to meet the learning needs of patients with heart failure.