Recruiting Nurses to Save Patients and Save Money!

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 26th, 2015

Medication management is one of many issues facing patients most at risk. Yet an effort to help high-risk heart failure patients stay on their medications improved compliance to drug regimens, but had surprisingly little effect on lowering hospital readmission rates, according to a study by Duke University researchers.

The study was designed to learn why patients skip their medications, and test whether a nursing intervention could improve compliance.

decrease patient medication errors Increasingly, hospitals are facing financial penalties if patients are readmitted within 30 days. To reduce readmissions, hospitals are working to coordinate better and more intensive follow-up care in outpatient settings. Making sure patients take their medications is a key component.

As part of the intervention, nurses asked the patients about their symptoms, what triggered them, and how they typically responded. With coaching from nurses at 3, 6 and 12 months, patients were tutored about managing their symptoms, taking their pills on schedule and developing an action plan for addressing their symptoms. They were encouraged to use doctors’ offices and clinics rather than the ED.

The approach was successful. Patients who received the intervention were four times as likely to adhere to their medication regimens as the comparison group.

Once again, it is the nurses who save the patient and save the money! These programs will require more nurses. To learn the best strategies for nurse recruitment and nurse retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this program that improves staff satisfaction and patient satisfaction.

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