Samaritan Albany General Hospital Improves Patient Education

13 Jul 2012

To decrease its 30-day readmission rates, Samaritan Albany General Hospital created a comprehensive patient education and post-hospital follow-up system for its heart failure patients. This multi-disciplinary approach to heart failure care and follow-up consisted of several strategies, including working toward standardizing congestive heart failure education materials within the entire health system, implementing the teach-back method, distributing “Heart Failure Care Kits” upon admission, and conducting follow-up phone calls after discharge. As a result, Samaritan Albany General has seen a decrease in its heart failure readmissions from 23.6 percent to 11 percent through its involvement in the Reducing Readmissions Learning Network. It attributes much of this success to the fact that it begins patient education as early in the admission process as possible and includes many departments in its approach. Throughout their stay, patients work with pharmacists, nutritionists, and other providers to make sure all of their needs are met and they are fully prepared to be discharged. The team at Samaritan Albany General also credits their success to the relationships they’ve developed with primacy care providers in the surrounding areas to coordinate care of their patients from hospital to home.