The use of clinical decision support in reducing readmissions for patients with heart failure: a quasi-experimental study

Susan R. Giscombe, Diana Lyn Baptiste, Binu Koirala, Reiko Asano, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition which affects over six million Americans and 26 million people worldwide. Evidence-based guidelines, protocols, and decision-support tools are available to enhance the quality of care delivery but are not implemented consistently. Aims: To examine the effect of clinical decision-making support during patient discharge on 30-day hospital readmission among patients admitted with heart failure and evaluate provider utilization and satisfaction of clinical decision support tool. Design: A quasi-experimental study. Methods: An intervention group of hospitalized patients (N = 55) with heart failure were provided the intervention over a 3-month period and compared to the pre-intervention comparison group (N = 109) of patients who did not receive the intervention. An evidence-based discharge checklist and a pocket guide was implemented by an advanced practice nurse to assist health providers with clinical decision making. Descriptive statistics among samples, 30-day readmission rates, and provider utilization and satisfaction were examined. Results: Readmission rates slightly decreased (N = 109, 9.2% vs. N = 55, 9.1%) in the post-intervention period, but no significant difference. Heterogeneity between the two groups were minimal related to use of specific medications, age, length-of-stay and comorbidities. Descriptively, there was a significant difference the use of diuretics among each group (p =.002).The discharge checklist was used regularly by 67% of (N = 15) providers, and 93% expressed satisfaction with use. Conclusion: There was no significant reduction in 30-day readmission rates between both groups. However, a slight reduction was noted which indicates the need for further examination into how the use of checklists for clinical decision support can reduce readmissions. A well-designed evidence-based discharge plan remains a critical component of the patient discharge process. Advance practice nurses are uniquely qualified to implement evidence-based interventions that promote practice change among health care providers and improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2021


  • checklists
  • decision-making
  • heart failure
  • patient discharge
  • patient readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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