Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Avoidable hospitalizations of hospice patients cost Medicare $3 billion a year. When hospice nurses are able to identify early signs and symptoms of acute illness and provide appropriate interventions to prevent such admissions, 20-60% of the hospitalizations are preventable. The practice problem addressed in this quality improvement doctor of nursing project was the 30% hospital admission rate of hospice patients as evidenced by chart review, admission data, and revocation data. The first purpose of the project was to identify evidence-based nursing care paths in the literature for the top 5 medical diagnoses related to avoidable hospital admissions. The second purpose was to develop an educational curriculum to educate the staff on the care paths with a pretest/posttest to assess knowledge gained from the education. Rosswurm and Larrabee's conceptual model was used to frame the project. Three content experts evaluated the curriculum plan using a 4 item dichotomous rating of 1 (not met) and 2 (met). An average score of 2 revealed that the curriculum content met the course objectives. Content experts validated each of the 16 pretest/posttest items using a Likert scale ranging from 1 (not relevant) to 4 (highly relevant). The content validation index score was .94, indicating that the pretest/posttest reflected the course objectives and content. Recommendations were made for structuring the pretest/posttest. The project promotes social change by assessing, intervening, and treating patients in the outpatient hospice setting to prevent avoidable hospitalizations, thus promoting patient well-being and fiscal responsibility of healthcare dollars.