Heart Failure Education in A VA Outpatient Clinic Delivered as Part of a Multidisciplinary Heart Failure Management Team
There is an estimated 6.2 million people Americans over the age of 20 suffering from Heart Failure (HF) (Bejamin et. al., 2019). It is essential that HF patients have sufficient knowledge about the disease and self-management (Abbasi, Ghezeljeh, & Farahani, 2018; Dinh, Bonner, Ramsbotham & Clark, 2018). Lack of self-management is largely to blame for many HF exacerbations. Current evidence supports utilizing both verbal and written education with an emphasis on self-care and education delivered in a group setting or individual setting showed equal impact on self-care and HF knowledge ( Hoover, et. al., 2017; Ross et. al., 2015; Tawalbeh, 2018).
An outpatient VA clinic located in a suburb of the large metropolitan identified there was no consistency on how a HF patient was educated, managed, or tracked and the registered nurses (RNs) lacked knowledge of HF. As a results of these findings this Evidence Based Project (EBP) was implemented. RNs were educated on HF and completed a self-assessment questionnaire evaluating their knowledge pre and post education. The RNs, as part of a multidisciplinary team, educated HF patients on signs and symptoms of HF as well as on how to manage the disease. Patients completed, the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) to assess quality of life and the Self Care Heart Failure Index (SCHFI) to assess knowledge of HF and self-management skills.
These questionnaires were completed initially and at 30 and 60 day intervals. The RNs self-assessment of their knowledge and ability to educate patients increased in all areas. The patient’s KCCQ and SCHFI score improved at 30 days and 60 days when compared to their initial score. Larger EBPs are needed over a longer period of time to assess the impact on hospital readmissions and same day clinic visits for HF exhibitions.