Heart failure affects millions of Americans each year. Treatment of advanced heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and left ventricular failure is sometimes treated with implantation of a left-ventricular assist device. While living with this life-sustaining machine, anticoagulation with Coumadin is necessary. Many of these patients are readmitted within 30-days of being discharged for pump clots, gastro-intestinal bleeds and even strokes. Patients are often discharged without adequate education on Coumadin management, which promotes inadequate self-care and medication non-adherence.
In current practice, healthcare providers lecture information in a quick manner without the evaluation of patients’ comprehension. Research suggests implementing the teach-back method during education sessions to assess for comprehension of material to improve medication adherence. Healthcare providers should implement Coumadin teach-back education to heart failure patients with left-ventricular assist devices to improve quality of life, increase medication adherence and decrease 30-day hospital readmission rates.